Feeds

Apple iTunes sales tally passes 350 million

Half a billion downloads by June?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Analysis Apple yesterday revealed its iTunes Music Store has now sold more than 350 million songs worldwide since it opened its doors to US consumers in April 2003.

The latest figure, mentioned last night during the Mac maker's Q2 FY2005 earnings conference, represents an increase of 50 million or so songs since the company said it passed the 300 million mark, in March.

The increase is in line with The Register's own predictions, and if Apple continues selling songs at this rate of growth, it's on its way to passing the billion-song mark before the end of 2005. We reckon that will take place in the November/December timeframe, passing the 500 million mark in June/July.

Right now, the growth looks exponential, but increasing competition may yet dampen it down. There's no sign of that yet, and Apple's statement that it sold more than 5.3 million iPods during the quarter takes ITMS' potential customer base to 15.33 million, based on the quarterly figures Apple has published to date. With 50 million songs sold in the last month, they're buying, on average, 3.3 songs a each every month. Over the next couple of months, that amounts to almost 152 million songs, enough to pass the 500 million song mark in July. And that assumes growth is linear - and slower than it actually appears to be.

This is the most basic of financial models, of course, so don't read too much into it. But it does show that Apple's digital music strategy has more legs than iPod hardware sales. What Apple isn't revealing, of course, is the number of ITMS customers who regularly purchase music - ITMS' equivalent of the Napster subscriber. That figure is likely to be well below the iPod owner tally, but probably higher than Napster's subscriber base of 410,000 or MusicNet's total number of subscribers, 500,000.

The closer Apple's regular-customer total gets to those figures, the more each individual is spending per month, and the more they are spending above the level a monthly subscription might come to - and the more revenue Apple's pay-per-download model is generating than a subscription package would.

If Apple has 500,000 regular buyers - a very conservative estimate, we'd say - that's roughly 100 downloads a month for each of them. So each is paying around $99 a month - rather more than the $15 they'd pay for an equivalent Napster To Go subscription. Of course, it the ITMS customers stop paying, they still have their songs, unlike NTG subscribers, so the comparison isn't entirely direct. But it does suggest that ITMS customers are happy spending more, and do spend more - which is good news for Apple's shareholders. ®

Related stories

Apple financials rude with health
Major labels sell off MusicNet
Apple Japan 'will' open Music Store - chief
Napster users sharing passwords to save cash
Apple eyes broader iTunes services
Apple faces iPod, iTunes patent violation claims
Apple music store downloads top 300m

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.