Feeds

Apple iTunes sales tally passes 350 million

Half a billion downloads by June?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.