Feeds

iTunes' long march to market share

Behind the numbers

Build a business case: developing custom apps

DMF Apple's iTunes Music Store has been hailed as "the future of music" so many times that you might conclude the future has already been written.

But a few statistics we gleaned at this week's Digital Music Forum (DMF), held only days after Apple boasted of its billionth download, help put it all in perspective.

The first, and most important statistic, is that Apple has taken just short of three years to reach one billion downloads. But even after litigation has put so many P2P networks on the back foot, one billion songs are downloaded illegally every month.

Now let's assume that somehow - perhaps by magic - the illegal P2P networks disappear. How deeply has the 99 cents-per-song store gripped the public imagination?

David Pakman, who formed the Music Group at Apple and is now chief executive officer of the revived eMusic service, gave us a clue.

"There are 21 songs bought from iTunes Music Store on the average iPod."

But surely, you'll point out, momentum is growing?

And here's the third statistic to remember, which comes courtesy of Aydin Caginalp. He's a partner at the law firm Partner, Alston & Bird, and he specializes in entertainment law. Here is the reality behind the figure of 21 songs per iPod:

"The iTunes Music Store [ITMS] buyer buys 25 songs in the first year, 15 in the second year, and in the third year, the battery has died, so you have to go out and buy a new iPod."

"And you paid $300 for that machine," he said, before concluding: "This is why Steve Jobs isn't in the music industry."

Under the current 99-cents-per-song service, Apple is the only winner. If this is the future - no one else has one.

iTMS been criticized many times, but you can now understand why Apple doesn't invest serious effort in improving it. It doesn't need to.

Every dollar Apple invests in improving ITMS, as opposed to engineering even better iPods, is a dollar wasted. As a marketing gimmick, it's more than done its job.

And this also explains why Apple, rather than trying to enrich or broaden its music service, is simply applying the iTMS model to different media.

Simple, really. ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?