Technology giant Apple is expected to announce the retirement of iTunes at the annual WorldWide Developers Conference in California this week.

Bloomberg reports that Chief Executive Tim Cook will reveal details during a Keynote presentation at WWDC, which runs from June 3-7. Three separate apps - covering music, TV and podcasts - are set to replace the 18-year-old media library in an attempted rebrand to an entertainment subscription service. It is assumed that any podcasts, films or music bought by users will remain accessible these apps.

Apple launched iTunes in 2001, allowing users to individually purchase, rent and download media the iTunes store. Apple Music was then released in June 2015 in over 100 countries, providing Apple users with a three-month free trial, and now has approximately 56 million paid subscribers. The creation of Apple Music began a clear shift in focus towards becoming a competitor in the subscription service market.

Evidence to suggest that the retirement of iTunes is nigh has been noted on discussion website . Eagle-eyed users noted that Apple has moved all content posted to the iTunes Facebook page over to the Apple TV Facebook page, and that the iTunes Instagram account has also been wiped, the bio now stating “for more updates follow @AppleTV”.

Bekka Barnard is a freelance journalist. Follow her on Twitter

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