Nielsen: Apple gets about 31-cents per music track, 60-cents per video download via iTunes Store

“Nielsen Entertainment Research reports that music labels keep about 34 cents from each 99-cent music track sold through a-la-carte music services,” Frank Barnako reports for MarketWatch. “Approximately 31 cents goes to the seller, such as Apple Computer’s iTunes Music Store, and about 34 cents is paid out for rights and royalties, the research firm determined in a study of the market for on-demand programming. The economics of video downloads are similar. ‘Assuming the 70/30 split, the $1.39 net to the content owner is virtually identical to what a commercial-free episode of a TV series generates from a DVD box set,’ Nielsen said, according to the Hollywood Reporter.”

Full article here.

[UPDATE: 1:45pm EST: fixed headline.]

The New iPod with Video. The ultimate music & video experience on the go. From $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.00.
The New iMac G5. Built-in camera and remote control. From $1299. Free shipping.
Apple USB Modem. Easily connect to the Internet using your dial-up service. $49.00.

Related articles:
NBC Universal & Apple offer new shows on U.S. iTunes Music Store, iTunes video sales top 3 million – December 06, 2005
NPD: Apple’s iTunes Music Store now the 7th largest U.S. music retailer, up from 14th last yea – November 21, 2005
Steve Jobs: Apple iTunes sold 125,000 Pixar videos in 1st month (Pixar Q3 05 conference call) – November 08, 2005
Apple passes 600 million iTunes Music Store songs sold milestone – October 25, 2005
Piper Jaffray: iTunes Music Store may account for 5-percent of Apple’s 2006 revenue – August 11, 2005
Apple’s ‘pure genius’ will soon make iTunes’ portal the ‘number one destination on the Internet’ – July 26, 2005


  1. In your headline you say Apple gets $1.39 for each video, that’s flipping the 70/30 split the wrong way. As they just explained Apple gets ¢31 for every ¢99 song sold, which is roughly 31%. Then it states “Assuming the 70/30 split, the $1.39 net to the content owner” in other words Apple is getting the leftovers from the $1.39 the content owners get. $1.99 – $1.39 = ¢60. Which is again roughly 30%. So fix the headline.

  2. Your headline is dead wrong. Apple does NOT get 1.39 per video download acc’ding to this article — THE CONTENT OWNER GETS THAT. Read the article before writing the headline.

  3. Apple probably does get that much, but they are also paying for bandwidth, tech people, etc., so I bet as far as actual profit goes they make like .05 per song or something…

  4. Apple’s 31 cents pays for servers, maintenance, electricity, heat, staff, benefits, insurance, bandwidth, customer support, the rent on the buildings where the staff and servers are housed, AND Apple pays the credit card transaction charges.

    Apple’s profit at the end of the day is very slim per song.

  5. Apple’s 31 cents ALSO pays for all the R&D to MAKE the music store and add new features, and all the time and effort put into attracting more music labels to the store. Those are all big expenses too.

    I think Spank’s 5 cents is too HIGH an estimate, but whatever Apple makes is far less than the 31 cents.

    Besides, a lot of songs cost less than 99 cents–you buy as an album and you normally pay less. So then Apple’s cut gets even smaller. 99 cents is NOT the average price it’s the highest price.

  6. Of that 34¢ that goes to royalties, keep in mind that they are split between the artist, the songwriter (who is sometimes the artist, and sometimes not), and sometimes other third parties.

    Of the 31¢ that Apple keeps, about 10¢ goes to their credit card processor, and the rest is split between network bandwidth, server costs, labor, R&D, marketing, and profit.

  7. i have an idea. Lets all get really mad at something. Just anything. Go, now. Do it. Get really really mad. (Ben Stiller’s voice) Do it! Do it! Com’on Do it! (End Ben Stiller’s Voice)

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.