iTunes Music Store sales soar in first half 2006

“US download music sales increased by 77% in the first half of 2006, while album sales fell by 4.2%, according to research company Nielsen Soundscan,” BBC News reports.

“More than 14 million full-album downloads were bought, compared with 6.5 million purchased during the first six months of 2005,” The Beeb reports.

“Although digital sales are growing, music fans are eschewing the more profitable full-album downloads in favour of cherry-picking a few songs,” The Beeb reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iTunes Music Store dominates the U.S. market with 72% of music downloads according to NPD Group.

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  1. The amazing thing is that human beings, witnessing human behavior can’t grasp that people want what they want. I don’t want to pay for music I don’t own, don’t want to listen to more commercials on an mp3 player with a radio, don’t want to be MORE limited by a DRM scheme more limiting than the surprisingly liberal Apple DRM, and want to hear the songs I like instead of buying some I don’t.

    Why is this so amazingly hard for every other music service, and manufacturer to figure out? In Hollywood they just blatantly copy something successful and this actually works quite often!
    Why doesn’t Microsoft strike the SAME deal as Apple, make a tiny, cheap and beautiful music player that lets you put it on 5 computers, burn it to a disc a few times, share the music with others on your local network, and lets you get around it by burning and re-converting? Why is this so hard to imitate? I’m TRULY glad they have not but it’s not clear to me why this non-copyrightable pattern of Device,Store, and DRM has clearly totally escaped them!!!

  2. That’s just it– they honestly think their way is better. That’s what makes it so funny. And sad, I guess. No matter how many “features” they cram into their products, they’re never going to be the cool kids on the block.

  3. Why? It’s because of Microsoft. MS wanted in on the action, so it pushed Windows Media Player and its DRM on all (or most) of Apple’s potential competition. So outside of Apple, the standard became one “partner” (MS) provides the PC interface software, one makes the player hardware, and one runs the online media store. Unfortunately for MS, in this space, Apple is dominating and MS is only getting its piece of the action from Apple’s leftovers.

    Sony is the only company who could have succeeded with Apple’s formula. It’s somewhat surprising that it has been so incompetent with it’s Walkman brand. If Microsoft had tried several years ago with providing the end-to-end product (as rumors say it is now), it could have succeeded. But as things stand now, it’s Apple’s game to lose…

  4. Uh let me guess

    All those people that got shiny new iPods for the holidays started to fill them up by buying music from iTMS in the first half of 2006.

    Can I have that cookie now?

    And yes when your building a rather large collection of music you can be a fool and pay for and download music by the album. Which most of it you’ll never hear more than once and just wind up clogging hard drive space. OR you can cherry pick your music, pay less and have less to catagorize/rate/group so you don’t accidently wind up listening to hours of garbage.

    I have a rather substancial music collection, all legit, half came from cd’s which only a small portion do I bother listening to anymore, the crap songs got ripped with the cds and now they just sit there taking space.

    Once iTMS came out, I started cherry picking songs, because I don’t DJ for anyone that I need every song to fullfill requests. The money I saved by not having crap songs I applied to other artists, so I still buy the same volume of music, just spend the money more evenly amongst many artists.

    So this “big scare” that because people won’t buy albulms and therefore artists are not getting as much money is bullsh*t. The more quality songs a artist produces, the more people will buy.

    If a artist only produces a one hit wonder and the rest of a album is pure utter cr*p why should we have to pay the same price for another artists album which has 1-12 good songs?

    Since the physical medium is eliminated, so is the fixed costs.

  5. I just realised that if MS will pay for all the purchased songs in your iTunes library this make it a SAFE purchase to get an iPod and purchase songs through the iTMS even if you are thinking about getting a rival MS player. If MS fail in delivering their rumoured promise you haven’t lost anything. Thank you MS for making the iTMS a guaranteed real ‘Plays for sure’ purchase.

  6. “US download music sales increased by 77% in the first half of 2006, while album sales fell by 4.2%, according to research company Nielsen Soundscan,” BBC News reports..

    I’m having a hard time with this statement.

    In order for iTMS sales to have grown 77% (Q2 & Q3 Year over Year), then Q3 sales had to have DROPPED BY 34% FROM Q2/06 LEVELS.

    I just don’t see that happening. I forecasted 4% Quarter over Quarter growth (216% Year over Year), and an invoice # check indicates Apple was on track to do that.

  7. It kinda knocks me over to hear people complaining all the time about CDs containing only one good song. Makes me wonder, do these people even like or respect the artists they’re listening to? Most artists I listen to, I don’t just want all the songs on the latest CD, I want all their CDs. As for cherry-picking, if I did that, I’d be missing out on a whole lot of great music. More often than not, my favorite song on a CD after a few weeks or months of listening is one that I didn’t particularly care for the first time around. Maybe the cherry-pickers should just stick with the “Best Of” collections. Me, I’m buying actual CDs – lots of pleasant discoveries, and the sound quality’s noticably better than 128kbps AAC on a decent stereo.

  8. The title of this post is misleading. The original article says nothing about the iTMS. While it’s likely that Apple sales increased significantly (roughly 72% of the 77% increase or more), there’s nothing in the article that links the increase in sales to the iTMS.

  9. Majikthize dude

    I got over 500 artists and by your reasoning I should buy all their cds at $20 a pop new? (because I’m sure not going to buy some used scratched disks)

    I have over 1000 albums (they are not all “full”) so lets do the math huh?

    Say I bought the full albums on cd.

    1,000 albums x $20 a album =$20,000 vs $7400 (apx 7400 songs in my Library @ 99¢ each and about 1850 are crap)

    So if I set out to spend $7400 for music and bought cd’s instead I would wind up with 370 full albums, and lets say a average of 50% crap songs on each album with 10 songs per cd.

    (after all you only get “the best of” of a artist usually after their music is already old and they had time to make enough hits to fill a cd. Some labels don’t even sell all a artists good songs on one cd to force you to buy several “albums”)

    That’s only 1850 good songs for $7400 via your way, instead of $7400 for 5550 good songs the iTMS way. 1850 good songs is the same amount I have as crap now cherry picking via iTMS/old cd collection.

    I would have saved $1850 if I started my music collection from iTMS to begin with.

    Now don’t give me that bullsh*t to go scrounging around yard sales and flea market line.

    My time and labor is worth a hell of a lot more that $20 a hour, closer to $45 a hour. So there is no savings there, I could buy two cds brand new a hour with my time working for somebody than I could buy one at $10 at a flea market. No to mention gas costs.

    And don’t give me that, “cd club” BS either, I’ve milked those punks and it’s a scam, the cd’s are cheap but they smack a hidden per cd S&H charge. The only way to win with them is to have multiple accounts with many friends doing it. And then you still only get a few good songs per cd.

    With iTMS they grab a lot of impulse buying, I’ve bought more music because of iTMS because it’s just too much trouble to go to a store to stand in line to listen through crappy headphones to a cd.

    Here I get the music in a few minutes, it’s mine and it sounds great on my 7.1 1000 watt surround sound system. A lot better than iPods, beleive me, they sound horrible but that’s what most people use.

    If there is some particular album that I would like to hear as much quality as possible, then I would spend the extra bucks to buy the cd.

    But it’s stupid to use that high measure for every album I own because 99% of the time I don’t need it. And it’s even more foolish to pay $12,600 more for music than I have too.

    So I tried it your way, it sucks. iTMS fscking rules.

  10. If you had a budget of $7400 lump sum to spend, you could get wholesale price on your CDs.

    Wholesale means to buy multiple items of the same kind in bulk. This way they can ship it direct from the factory and skip the middleman (you become the middle man)

    Since I only need one cd per album, from different labels and artists, I have to go retail.

    But I understand what your saying, I should get a discount for buying so much and the cd clubs do that, but it’s not really a deal by the time one pays for the S&H charge applied to each cd.

    Say this: The deal is buy 3 cds and get one free. Each cd is $9.99 (including s&h) . Each cd holds 10 songs. 5 on average are good. 5 are crap.

    So I get 40 songs, 20 are good, for $30. I still get a better deal at iTMS and I get them right away, not 3 weeks later.

    And I don’t know if anyone has ripped cd’s before, but it’s a pain in the arse when you got a lot. So you wind up ripping the whole cd and then going through the trouble to backup the crap songs and ridding them out of iTunes.

    How much is my labor per hour worth again? Yea $45 a hour ripping cd’s when I could be doing a job for someone.

    Everyway one looks at it, iTMS is the most cost effective way to buy music.

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