Tech journalism, and particularly any writing about Apple, is in a really bad state. All too often, the writers in this field completely misunderstand the very things they're writing about, and it causes a terrible effect of teaching falsehoods to the public.
Other times, it's clear that they're saying something outlandish just to get a rise out of people:
A flip-flop is a reversal. You were doing one thing, and now you're doing the opposite. When John Kerry celebrates at a rally by shooting a gun that he voted to ban, that's a flip-flop. Mitt Romney crusading to repeal a healthcare law that he implemented in Massachusetts is a flip-flop.
So, let's give Nilay the page view he's trolling for and see Apple's big upcoming flip-flop.
While download sales are growing modestly, subscription music is finally making a dent and seeing white-hot growth -- companies like Spotify and Rdio are doing subscriptions right after the mistakes of their predecessors. These services, which the labels call "access models," have grown in a very short time to make up 15 percent of the industry's total revenue.
So it seems like that statement was prescient: ten years later, subscription services have only now clawed their way up to 15 percent of industry revenue. (not profit!)
Apple may now let users load songs from the cloud and access them via the internet, but the iTunes business model has remained largely unchanged. It may be a proven strategy, but Apple appears to have no interest in finding a way to communicate with those who don't care about "owning" music.
Okay, so Apple launched a middle-of-the-road subscription option that still involves owning your music. And did so after Jobs' death, and long after Jobs had stepped down from actively playing the CEO role.
...iTunes -- when it comes to music -- appears to be standing still. That said, Apple is still keeping pace with its main competition, and neither Amazon nor Google have launched music subscription services yet.
So no flip-flop has happened yet, and the only possible thing that might happen is that Apple may introduce a subscription service alongside their current, industry-dominating model. That's not a flip-flop, that's lazy trolling on Nilay Patel's part.