TechNewsWorld columnist: Apple’s music success ‘due almost entirely to non-stop PR and the ever-fait

“‘The iPod and iTunes store are a shining light at a very bleak time in the industry,’ Cary Sherman, president of the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) said recently,’ Jon Newton writes for TechNewsWorld. “Apple’s ‘success,’ due almost entirely to non-stop PR and the ever-faithful mainstream media, gives the entirely false impression that there’s a corporate online music business and that music lovers are thronging to it.”

“As a friend who spends his days watching the music industry said this morning, ‘had the journalists seized … on the new Napster (for instance) as the ‘success story,’ the effect would have been the same. It’s the media who need a music industry comeback story, and Apple came along at the right time with a cool-looking Walkman. The iTunes store just got swept along in the wave. And perhaps Apple is really just the beneficiary of all the breathless praise,'” Newton writes. “True. But the ‘breathless praise’ generated a continuing flood of mainstream media stories and articles which, en masse, are supporting the Big Music fallacy that there’s a successful corporate online music market.”

Newton writes, “There’s no doubt that one of these days, there will be one. But not yet. Not by a long shot. That Apple has sold 125 million tracks since it introduced iTunes is headlined around the world as a major triumph. But it’s taken since September, 2003, for Apple to achieve this, while in the real world of online music, something in the order of 16 billion files moved from computer to computer via the P2P networks in the same time frame.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: To ignore the quality of the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) experience and attribute its success entirely to good timing and a receptive media is disingenuous, at best. iTMS’s sales are growing with each passing day; it will not take over a year for Apple to sell their next 125 million songs. Even before opening nine additional iTMS outlets last week, Apple was projecting sales at a rate of over 200 million songs per year. Lastly, Apple’s iPod is much more than a “cool-looking Walkman,” as anyone who’s ever used one knows.

Some people are in love with stealing and/or have utopian delusions, but have never explained coherently how great music will get created if there is no economic reward for talented artists. Talented people will eschew the medium of music and choose to apply their talents to some other medium that can’t be stolen and traded by thieves. And the quality of music will decline even more as the talent evaporates from the parched-by-p2p landscape. Don’t steal music.

Jon Newton, a TechNewsWorld columnist, founded and runs, a daily peer-to-peer and digital media news site focused on issues surrounding file-sharing, the entertainment industry and distributed computing.


  1. While there’s a truth to how media portrays a news, I am not sure if it is true with iPod.

    On the other hand, this is exactly how they justified the war in Iraq and now 51% of the Americans feel that the same president should be re-elected.

  2. uhm.. while buzz IS word of mouth AND free advertising (media) the bottom line is.. any claims of.. ‘it wouldnt be popular unless’ .. are just BS…

    look at the Mac.

    nuff said

  3. P2P file sharing = war in Iraq, thats a real stretch.

    Cary really is an idiot, its like saying Window OS is not a success because millions of copies are pirated. CD sales are a failure for the same reason? Online music purchasing is finally a viable alternative, a baby in the market, but requires help from these greedy music execs to be more successful. They are the cause of this markets “slow” rise. Im so worried about my house getting broke into, I didnt even gige MYSELF a key. stupidity. If they cut their 65 cents a song profit, letting the average song price drop to 75 cents, you would see a huge increase in sales. The money they save through the distribution method more than makes up for that. If I see gas at $1 vs 75� per gallon, where will I shop?

  4. yes the press has always been SO nice to apple, they all made a success out of the ipod when it was doomed on its own :p

    and dont worry about the 51%. bush was elected without the popular vote last time ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  5. The “breathless praise” is focused on the iPod itself, not the iTMS. I don’t think anyone has suggested online music sales are any more than a drop in the bucket of total music sales (or file sharing for that matter).

  6. Not quite sure how anybody would vote for Kerry anyway. The guy is the flakiest guy ever. The only one worse is Tom Daschle.

    One bright point for him though. He called to concede, rather than dragging out the inevitable.

  7. Sparky,

    “One bright point for him though. He called to concede, rather than dragging out the inevitable.”

    Too bad George Dubya didn’t do that 4 years ago, then the World wouldn’t be as fucked up as it is thanks to Junior, Dick, Halliburton etc.

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