Million Media

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Apple’s Download Figures Show iTunes Is An ‘Epic Fail’ Business Model


I wrote a post yesterday (“The three future models of the music industry“) about the failure of iTunes as a future business model and today I saw that Apple are counting down to the 25 billionth download. Before I go on, I should stress this is a failure for the music industry, not Apple. OMG, if I was Apple these numbers are stunning!! But for the music industry they should be seen as an almighty “Epic Fail“.

Simply do the sums:

Meaning, on average, iPod and iPhone owners have bought a grand total of 73 tracks each, or roughly equal to 6 albums. In 5 years…… *gulp*

Granted, we don’t know if those 25bn downloads are singles or albums, but even if the average was 100 or even 200, this is an utterly depressing number. These are, after all, devices that can hold several thousand tracks. And iTunes is responsible for 70% of the global download market!

What amazes me is there are still people who doubt the freemium model and services like Spotify, and who think iTunes is a ‘success’.

My advice – abandon the old model, come join The Artist Network and then like-minded people can start figuring this out for ourselves.

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About Neil

Neil Cartwright founded Million Media in 2006 with the aim to help people understand digital marketing and use it to their advantage. The vision hasn't changed but the technology has.

3 comments on “Apple’s Download Figures Show iTunes Is An ‘Epic Fail’ Business Model

  1. Stu
    March 4, 2012

    Hey Neil, the 25bn figure is for apps only, not music – it’s an App Store milestone. The iTunes Music Store hit 16bn in October 2011, but I don’t think Apple has provided a new milestone since.

    • Neil
      March 4, 2012

      Thanks Stu. So, in one way it makes my article look rather misjudged and misinformed since I was writing about the wrong numbers! Fair enough. It also highlights the difference between a pro journalist and a blogger!

      On the other hand, I think it’s probably true to say Apple haven’t yet reached 25bn MUSIC downloads, which validates even further the point the article was trying to make (albeit using the wrong figures!)
      Again, I’m not saying these figures are bad for Apple (they’re amazing) or for musicians who have made money somewhere down the line. However, for the business to have been locked in to the iTunes model for so long is reckless and costly.

      OK, I’m off to find some more wrong figures to get angry about….

      • Stu
        March 4, 2012

        Sorry, didn’t mean to seem snarky – if anything it reinforces your point since iTunes music downloads may well be less!

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This entry was posted on March 2, 2012 by in artists, communities, Digital Marketing, music and tagged , , , , , , , .
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