Study reports the obvious: most music on iPods not from iTunes Store

“Despite the success of Apple iTunes, few people stock their iPod with tracks from the online store, reports a study,” BBC News reports.

“The Jupiter Research report says that, on average, only 20 of the tracks on an iPod will be from the iTunes shop,” BBC News reports. “Far more important to iPod owners, said the study, was free music ripped from CDs someone already owned or acquired from file-sharing sites.”

“On average, the study reports, only 5% of the music on an iPod will be bought from online music stores. The rest will be from CDs the owner of an MP3 player already has or tracks they have downloaded from file-sharing sites,” BBC News reports.

Full article here.
The results echos similar studies in the past. It’s common sense: most people have purchased and built CD libraries already, why would they buy iTunes Tracks when they already have them? We expect iTunes Store purchases to increase as iPod owers shop via iTunes Store for new music and decrease buying music the old way, on CD. Simple math: divide 1.5 billion iTunes Store tracks sold to date by 60 million iPods and you get 25 tracks per iPod. We did that without conducting a study.

By the way, the music ripped from CDs someone already owned is not “free.” They’ve already paid for the music when they purchased the CD.

JupiterResearch’s Mark Mulligan comments on the report in his blog and mentions, “iPod owners actually demonstrate slightly more positive trends than other MP3 player owners, demonstrating the strength of the iPod/ITMS proposition, but only slightly.”

In January 2006, XTN Data reported that iPod owners are “substantially less likely to download using filesharing software with only 7% of iPod people downloading illegally compared to 25% on average. And they’re more likely to be buying CDs with your everyday iPodder buying 2.3 albums a month compared to the average of 1.8.” XTN Data surveyed over 1,000 UK and US music buyers to arrive at the data. XTN Data also found that 50% of iPod owners regularly download music from Apple iTunes Music Store.

Related articles:
Real CEO Glaser calls Apple iPod owners thieves – May 11, 2006
Study shows iPod owners significantly less likely to steal music than the average person – January 13, 2006
Microsoft CEO Ballmer: ‘Apple iPod users are music thieves’ – October 04, 2004

60 Comments

  1. “The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen'”
    –Rob Glaser

    “Poke his eyes out and mutilate his genitalia, the fat lying bastard”
    –The rabid faithful, MDNs passim

    “On average, the study reports, only 5% of the music on an iPod will be bought from online music stores.”
    –BBC News

    “Study reports the obvious.”
    –MDN

  2. The iTMS is great, but it has hardly “revolutionized” music distribution, and neither will sub-quality movies on the iTMS “revolutionize” movie distribution. “Augment” sure. “Revolutionize?” Hardly.

    1.5 Billion tracks in 3 years is good, but as a percentage of global music sales, were still talking about 2-3 % of global sales.

  3. They said 5% was from online, not that the other 95% was stolen as Mr. Glaser stated.

    “The iTunes Music Store has sold more than 1.5 billion tracks so far. If iPod owners aren’t buying all this music, then WHO IS?”

    I currently have 160 tracks purchased from the iTMS, but I don’t currently own an iPod. I did at one time, but I sold it a while ago and haven’t bought another one yet (thinking about it given the recent updates). So I imagine there’s at least a few people like myself who buy their music off iTMS and just burn it to CD or listen to it on their computer (or stream it with AirTunes I guess).

  4. The majority of iPod owners in a major poll only have downloaded under 200 songs from iTMS.

    I’m one of the high minority that have bought over 2500 songs from iTMS, it’s because I can afford it and someone has to support the artists.

    Since reports on the Apple forums is that iTunes 7 is such a dumptruck of a update I have refused to update and have been slowly converting my 2500 iTMS DRM collection to Mp3’s.

    Apple fscked up royally by holding my iTMS buying habit hostage to force me to upgrade my hardware by demanding I download that bloated iTunes 7 update.

    My hardware has several good years of life in it.

    Shame on Apple.

  5. “Far more important to iPod owners, said the study, was free music ripped from CDs someone already owned or acquired from file-sharing sites.”

    I don’t consider music ripped from CDs “free,” since I paid for those CDs.

  6. Really the main reason for me not upgrading my hardware is the EFI based, Trusted Computing snitching, Intel based processors Apple switched to.

    I can’t beleive people are buying Trusted Computing based hardware, don’t they know what it all entails?

  7. “Since reports on the Apple forums is that iTunes 7 is such a dumptruck of a update I have refused to update and have been slowly converting my 2500 iTMS DRM collection to Mp3’s.”

    Hm. Well, I’m guessing a few hundred thousand (if not over a million) people have downloaded iTunes 7. How many complaints are there on the Apple forums? How many times have you logged in to an internet forum in order to write about how well something works? A forum which is designed for reporting issues is not a balanced representation of the quality of a product. Don’t forget that half of all people are below average intelligence.

    Of course that doesn’t necessarily mean iTunes 7 is not a dog. But by the time you convert all your tracks, there will probably have been a 7.01 or 7.1 update that addresses the issues. Aren’t there better ways to spend your time?

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