Music Industry

Things Aren’t So Good for iTunes These Days

On Tuesday, Apple announced the most profitable quarter in the history of the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way. No company has ever made more money in a three month period, ever. To break it down, the company made $570,000 a minute or nearly $10,000 a second.

Hidden below all the 11-figure numbers for iPhone sales were the stats about iTunes. Yes, there was growth year-over-year ($2.6 billion vs $2.4 billion), but that increase has more to do with the sales of apps than music. In fact, iTunes saw a 7% decline in net sales of digital media.

This is in line with the overall impression that there’s been a steady fall in the number of digital tracks being sold. According to the RIAA, digital singles revenue fell 11% in 2014 while digital albums dropped 14%.

What’s the cause of this? Streaming. No wonder Apple bought Beats. The question is, when are they going to relaunch the product? And how will it compete with Spotify and Rdio? Stay tuned.

(Via RAIN)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38524 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

4 thoughts on “Things Aren’t So Good for iTunes These Days

  • Honestly Alan, are you being paid in any capacity to promote streaming services? Sure seems like it.
    This is like complaining that I made 40k for the last five years, last year I made 70k, this year I’l make 60k- WTF happened? I’m a failure! Time to pack it in! The world is ending!

    • Uh, no. What I am point out is that music sales are on a continuing decline and will be replaced by streaming. Anyone whose business model based on selling music knows they have to made adjustment if they want to survive.

  • Hey Alan I fully agree with you on streaming services being the dominant medium in which we will consume or rather listen to music. What has me confused is how is streaming going to work in northern areas where wifi does not exist outside of the home/office. I live in Timmins Ontario and do a lot in the bush. And yes I take my tunes with me. But these are all downloaded files. So is there anything that streaming services are working on in order to provide there services to individuals who live in remote locations and do not have access to city wide wifi

  • I am very frustrated with the iTunes software on the computer. I’ve uploaded some CD music on my iTunes so I can put that music on my phone (yes, I still own CDs…). The only other option is to buy the music I’ve already purchased in another format via iTunes. And when I try to sync purchased music with my computer music, it wants to ‘replace’ my playlists, so I can’t get all my music on my phone. If you just stick to buying their stuff, it’s all great. So I have started streaming music to hear things I already own but can’t access on the go. No wonder we are moving away from iTunes.


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