Financial Times writer: Apple must act soon or lose its lead in digital music market

“Some lucky music fan will hit the jackpot very soon. The person who downloads the 100 millionth song from Apple Computer’s iTunes online music store will win a sleek new laptop, an iPod digital music player and a gift certificate to download a further 10,000 songs,” Scott Morrison writes for The Financial Times.

“Generous? Certainly. But no amount of hype is too great for a company that has so much riding on the future of digital entertainment,” Morrison writes. “The iPod and iTunes have vaulted Apple to the forefront of the online music market, with an estimated 25 per cent share of the digital music player market and a 70 per cent share of legal downloads.”

Morrison writes, “But the market is in its infancy, online music services have proliferated and standards vary. Competitors appear to be closing in… unless it acts soon, Apple could see its commanding lead in digital music disappear. The risk is that history would repeat itself, with Apple again relegated to the fringes of a booming market.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Music is music. It is not software written for one OS or another. The Mac and its market share issues cannot be used as a guide for iPod. It is just as easy to encode music in one format as another. There is no need to develop a “version” of music for differing player platforms; hence, no massive extra development costs. Apple’s plan is sound and it is working spectacularly.


  1. music is NOT music in the digital world. You cannot play music purchased from iTMS on any mobile player except for the iPod. Conversely, the iPod cannot play any music purchased from other music sites. This is very much a marketshare issue. This is AAC vs WMA. If WMA wins, iPod sales will go down dramatically (unless it supports WMA, which will never happen), and we will stop seeing the benefits of a ubiquitous player, like all those cool accessories that have come out by third party companies.

  2. Hey Ed, don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing off Apple. I think they’ve been doing good things with the iPod. Heck, I just bought an iPod mini for my wife. I just disagree with the notion that music is music. In this world, it has fractured out into proprietary systems when purchasing tunes.

  3. Oh, ok iggy. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    On a different note, I’d like to know why everyone (ANALysts) seems to be so eager to spell Apple’s doom the minute a company announces a new music product. They do it nearly EVERY time, and EVERY time (so far) they have been wrong. You think they’d learn by now, huh.

  4. It’s almost as if they were “panicking” for the company to charge ahead in full speed with the iPod. That’s a more positive note from me. But really….they are all cynics.

  5. the funny part about wma is that Apple could support it if they wanted to. they just choose right now not to. and they would still sell tons of ipods. just wait until the mini is truly available before writing off apple. i believe market share for all ipods will jump even higher by the end of the year.

  6. Ed, I do not think those ANALysts will ever learn. I think that is why they write. They were not smart enough to work for an Apple or Sony or (insert tech company here).

  7. Not only will the mini help the iPod marketshare grow, but also the deal with HP. The amazing thing is that Apple has a 52% unit marketshare with the iPod (as of March), and that’s NOT Including the mini shipping internationally, or HP with their ‘hPod’. Imagine what the numbers are going to look like at the end of the year. Personally, I am expecting 60%-at the LEAST. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they hit 70%.

    Talk about HUGE GLOAT TIME for Steve ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    I can’t wait!!! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    “Dell…Napster…Creative…what’s that?” – Joe consumer, one year from now.

  8. JadisOne

    They’re probably smart enough to work for Microsoft, though, in WMA development. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

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