Music News

Weekly survey: Do you still buy digital music files?

The introduction of iTunes in 2001 was a game-changer for the music industry. Steve Jobs was able to convince everyone involved that this was the future and the way to combat the piracy being waged by illegal file-sharing apps. When it was ported to Windows users in 2003, iTunes exploded and became a monster.

It’s been a good run. But as more people adopted streaming, the need to pay for individual songs and albums dissipated. Why spend $1.29 on a single song when you can stream 100 million songs for 10 bucks a month?

Sales of digital tracks and albums have been on a steady downward vector for years, dropping anywhere for 15 to 20% year-over-year. The iTunes platform doesn’t have the influence it once did.

Mac users saw the standalone version of iTunes integrated into Apple Music a few years ago while PC users still had a version of the original iTunes. Now, though, Apple Music is available in the Microsoft Store, which probably indicates that the old-school iTunes will soon become extinct.

That being said, I’m curious of you still pay for digital downloads. (I do because my job requires that I have files of songs I can use on the radio.) Here’s the weekly survey question.

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 38431 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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