Estimate pegs Apple iTunes Music Store downloads at 68.5 million for December 2005

“Piper Jaffray said iTunes from Apple Computer could see a significant boost in digital music downloading. Piper Jaffray… said data from Nielsen Soundscan ‘shows a material uptick in digital downloads’ in each of the last two weeks. The research firm said track volume sales for the week ending Dec. 26, 2004, were 5.046 million, and sales for the week ending Jan. 2, 2005, were 6.690 million,” reports.

“‘Previously, weekly track sales had been bound between 3.0 million and 4.0 million throughout October, November and December,’ Piper Jaffray said. Apple will be ‘the primary beneficiary of growth in the online music industry for a minimum of several quarters,’ the firm said, raising its iTunes December downloads estimate to 68.5 million from 52.1 million. That rate would lead to a potential 474 million downloads in calendar 2005,” Forbes reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: This estimate shows Apple’s iTunes Music Store will record about as many downloads in the last month of 2005 as the store recorded in its entire first full year of operation.

[UPDATED headline and MDN Take to reflect estimate is for Dec 2005 – 2:58PM ET]

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple’s iTunes Music Store downloads pass 200 million songs milestone – December 16, 2004
Apple’s iTunes Music Store passes 150 million songs milestone – October 14, 2004
Apple launches iTunes Affiliate Program; 125 million iTunes purchased to date – September 01, 2004
Apple’s iTunes Music Store sells 100 millionth song – July 12, 2004
Over 85 million songs downloaded from Apple’s iTunes Music Store – June 08, 2004
Apple launches 3G iTunes Music Store, sold over 70 million songs in first year – April 28, 2004
Apple’s iTunes Music Store milestone: over 50 million songs sold – March 15, 2004
Apple’s iTunes Music Store sells ten millionth song; averaging over 500,000 songs per week – September 08, 2003
iTunes Music Store hits five million songs sold; Apple to ship one millionth iPod this week – June 23, 2003
Apple iTunes Music Store sold 3 million songs in first month – May 29, 2003
iTunes Music Store sells over two million songs in first 16 days; over 4,300 songs added yesterday – May 14, 2003
iTunes Music Store sells over one million songs in first week; over 3,200 new tracks coming May 6th – May 05, 2003
Apple’s iTunes Music Store sells estimated 275,000 tracks in first 18 hours – May 01, 2003
Apple launches iTunes Music Store – April 28, 2003


  1. Now watch as the RIAA gets greedy and demands the prices be raised on digital downloads. They could gain so much on keeping the prices low. Digital downloads are a great way for them to promote artists for much cheaper (they don’t need mass media to promote them, they only need to pay iTunes) and a great way to sell works by smaller artists and other less “pop” motivated ones. But they’re going to blow that opportunity for some up-front cash.

    So much for a system that’s in it for music and not for money…

  2. The MDN headline is misleading. Piper Jaffrey is predicting (as Zach noted) 68.5 million iTMS song sales for December 2005.

    If you read the article, they estimate songs sales to be about 6.7 million per week as of Jan 2, 2005. So by this time next year, Piper Jaffrey is saying that iTMS volumes will nearly triple to about 18 million songs sold per week.

  3. Russell,

    The RIAA has absolutely nothing to do with what record labels ask iTunes to charge to their customers for music downloads. The labels and artists themselves determine the price. Misinformation about the RIAA abounds on these boards. It’s a shame people don’t take time out to find out what is what. On the other hand, so many are only interested in stealing music I guess they really don’t care about the truth or facts.

  4. Just recently, I’ve noticed that analysts don’t really appear to have either a) too much imagination or b) sufficient courage to use what imagination they do have.

    The performance curve for iTMS looks like this�

    Launch: 28/04/03
    50 million: 11/03/04 (318 days)
    100: 12/07/04 (441 days elapsed, 123 days)
    150: 14/10/04 (535 elapsed, 94 days)
    200: 16/12/04 (598 elapsed, 63 days)

    At the current rate of acceleration, Apple should report that 250 million tracks have been downloaded on or around 03/02/05 (49 days), and with iTMS operations for Japan and Australia rumoured to launch sometime soon, Apple will be shipping 50 million tracks every 14 days from around the middle of August.

    The major milestones look something like�

    250: 03/02/05 (49 days)
    300: 14/03/05 (39 days)
    350: 15/04/05 (32 days)
    400: 12/05/05 (27 days)
    450: 04/06/05 (23 days)
    500: 24/06/05 (20 days)
    600: 28/07/05
    700: 24/08/05
    800: 16/09/05
    900: 06/10/05
    1 billion: 26/10/05

    Remember that shipping 50 million tracks is the same as saying 4.2 million albums, and with Apple on track to have around 25 million iPod users by next September, the prediction is that 20% of iPod customers will engage in downloading an album every two weeks which isn’t excessive behaviour for the target market.

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