iTunes fuels resurgence of interest in music – and music sales

“The beleaguered global music industry says it expects to see an increase in music sales next year. New legal download services combined with an anti-piracy campaign have given the industry cause for optimism. Keith Jopling, head of market research at the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry, said: ‘We are turning a corner,'” Darren Waters reports for BBC News Online. “Global sales of CDs have fallen for several years but there are encouraging signs that they too are improving. Music sales world-wide fell by 7.6% in 2003, the fourth consecutive year that sales had declined.”

Waters reports, “Mr Jopling said he believed that new download services such as Napster, iTunes and Rhapsody had fuelled a resurgence of interest in music. He said: ‘I have a theory that there is something about these services such as iTunes and Napster which is sparking an interest in music which is leading to increase physical sales. The people joining legal services are music fans who have a chance to get excited about music again. What we are most happy about, so far, most people who are consuming music online are buying CDs as well.’ He said that the online services were also informing people about new music something, something the industry had struggled with previously.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iTunes is about 10 times larger than Napster and Rhapsody combined. So to include Napster and Rhapsody with iTunes inferring equality is ludicrous. And it makes the market researcher saying it sound less than up-to-date with the current market share situation. iTunes Music Store dominates significantly. Using the statement above as a template to illustrate our point, it would be like saying, “soda companies such as Moxie, Coca-Cola and Cheerwine have fuelled a resurgence of interest in carbonated beverages.” Most of you dear readers probably need links for two of those. No one needs the link for Coke.


  1. What is this ‘Coca-Cola’ beverage you speak of? I only buy beverages in the generic white can marked ‘cola’ because they are much cheaper and just as good as others.

  2. Fontline aired a very interesting report last night on PBS here in New York.

    You’ll be able to access an on-line edition of the program as it aired on the 29th of May.

    Its interesting what the report states as to the real reasons why the record industry is loosing money. For one reason, the whole cycle of people updating their music collections from vinyl to CD has ended for some time now. The other is the backlash of people buying a CD for one song only to find out the rest of the CD was not worth the price of admission.

    Napster 1.0 allowed for the first initial backlash to begin allowing people to download songs they wanted without having to get all the second rate garbage along with it, although be it illegally and the record industry had no idea how to handle or approach this change in “consumerism”.

    Apple’s iTunes Music Store has now showed consumers and the industry that a legal and viable option for consumers to get the songs they want while the industry gets their cut in the digital realm. It has also showed the industry that consumers are a lot smarter and wiser and won’t put up with the crap the industry churned out previously. 1 or 2 goods songs on an otherwise poor music offering from artists.

    You want consumers to pay for quality products, offer quality content and material.

  3. The only carbonated beverage I drink is Champagne. Sorry to be so pretentious, but it’s the truth.

    I still think the problem with music sales has more to do with pirated CDs than the Internet.

  4. I also forgot to mention to watch for the repeat of certain consumers updating their collections by getting updated “re-mastered” digital versions of their fav CD’s which they’ve updated from their fav vinyl collections.

    They may not purchase the entire digital version of their fav CDs/Albums, but they’ll probably get the tracks they like the most and the added bonus tracks that companies add. Just like we’ve done when movies went from VHS to DVD.

    I’m sure this cycle will repeat itself, when something comes along that is beyond digital.

  5. Hey FIG, I watched that last night too and it was very interesting. The internet and illegal downloading was just a very small part of what is ailing the music biz. I mostly listen to classical and jazz, so I don�t care too much if people buy the latest Guns and Roses CD, but when pop music suffers the music I like suffers too. Hopefully iTunes will revive the music biz so that they will start making new classical CDs again.

  6. Yes…yes he did say “beleagured”. I’m surprised he didn’t use “Quagmire” and “Unilateral”. They seem to be the overused ‘buzzwords’ lately in the media.

  7. The music industry has never seen a marketing idea anything like iTunes. I remember when Borders added headphones and the shopper could hear a FEW of the latest CDs. At first, everyone thought it was cool until the music industry discovered that it often reduced sales when the listener discovered that the other 9 tracks on the CD sucked. The headphones in the music stores lost sales as much as boosted them.

    As a result, people wanted JUST their favorite track and they resorted to stealing it on the internet. Well, the music industry called it stealing, but it wasn’t anything different than making a copy of a track from your friend’s CD, but simply more convenient and done with millions of total strangers. Now, it was impacting total sales. And rather than using the new mass-media tools of the internet for their own promotion, music companies viewed the internet as evil, and did nothing but sit, cry, whine, and file law suits against 15 year old kids… their own primary market.

    Now iTunes comes along, you can sample a song as in the music store, BUT you can buy just the one that you like! It was A HIT!! In addition, Apple made it much easier, even fun, to go explore other genres, unknown artists, and cruise through other people’s playlists. People were downloading and BUYING ten times the songs they would have in a brick and mortar music store.

    No company deserves more praise by the music industry than Apple. They singlehandedly brought the 100 year old vinyl-record-concept of music sales into the digital age SUCCESSFULLY! As is the nature of 99.99% of the population, those without an ounce of imagination, there will be lemming-like copiers trying to imitate Apple’s success, but they will fail. It took a staff of music lovers that were crazy enough to try something totally different.

    Here’s to the crazy ones…

  8. Did any of you notice that the reporter listed Napster before iTunes while the market researcher listed iTunes before Napster. Just an interesting observation.

  9. I hope the music industry fragments from its overconsolidation. It’d be nice to see musicians take control of their product. Generate a fan base by playing gigs, sell CDs directly on the internet, and eventually to online distributors. That could more than triple their revenue per song. I certainly am turned off by overslick productions and mass marketing. Seeing an ad for a band on TV degrades them to the level of household detergent.

  10. What’s not addressed is that the music industry still only caters to the teeny-bopper bubble gum set, and ignores completely those over the age of 18. Sure, piracy may be affecting some sales, but overall who wants to buy OR pirate the latest Britney Justin Christina pop rehash crap? There’s a large market out there that the industry could tap buy making ACTUAL MUSIC, but they choose to ignore it completely, hence the downward spiral. Even the teeny-boppers are starting to get sick of the bile the music industry is spewing out.

  11. “From: DakRoland

    Yes…yes he did say “beleagured”. I’m surprised he didn’t use “Quagmire” and “Unilateral”. They seem to be the overused ‘buzzwords’ lately in the media.”

    Don’t forget “resolve”. If I hear that one more time, I’m going to puke. I would love to hear “bamboozled”, “bewildered” and “tomfoolery” much more in the U.S. media with regard to its government and citizens(I’m one).

    Anyway, on subject, I liken the recording industry to the dinosaur airline industry. The big behemoths (another overused media term) have been sluggish to move and I love seeing new media shops sting the giants into relevant mobility.

    Here’s to choice and innovation.

  12. “Apple’s iTunes is about 10 times larger than Napster and Rhapsody combined. So to include Napster and Rhapsody with iTunes inferring equality is ludicrous”

    So when talking about computers, don’t mention the company that Jobs guy runs?

    Dave H, you don’t drink beer???

    touchy, touchy, typical.

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