comScore: Apple iTunes sales are surging; revenue grew 84% during first 3 quarters of 2006

comScore Networks, a leader measuring the digital age, today reported that revenue from Apple Computer’s iTunes digital media download service rose by 84 percent during the first three quarters of 2006 versus the same period one year ago as a result of a 67 percent increase in the number of iTunes buying transactions and a 10 percent increase in the dollars spent per transaction.

Sales of iTunes, Q1-Q3 2006 vs. Q1-Q3 2005:

Revenue: +84%
Number of Buying Transactions: +67%
Dollars Spent per Transaction: +10%

Source: comScore Networks

“As Mark Twain might have said, the rumors of iTunes’ death have been greatly exaggerated,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks, in the press release. “In contrast to a recent research report indicating that iTunes sales have declined by 65 percent, comScore data show that iTunes sales actually grew 84 percent during the first three quarters of 2006 versus year ago.”

Further, the comScore analysis found the number of people using the iTunes service has also increased. The iTunes application attracted 20.8 million unique visitors in November 2006, up 85 percent from November 2005.

Unique Visitors to the iTunes Application,
November 2006 vs. October 2006,
Total U.S. Home, Work and University Internet Users:

(includes only active usage over the Internet)

Nov ’05 – Nov ’06 (Percentage Change)
Total Internet Population (U.S.) – 169,747,000 – 173,686,000 (+2%)
iTunes Software (App) – 11,270,000 – 20,801,000 (+85%)

Source: comScore Media Metrix

comScore’s findings align closely with a report from analyst Gene Munster of the investment banking firm Piper Jaffray, who wrote in a research report that the number of songs sold per week on iTunes had risen 78 percent in the first nine months of 2006 compared with the same period in 2005. “Contrary to recent reports suggesting sales on iTunes are declining rapidly, our analysis of Apple company data shows strong growth year over year,” said Munster in the press release. “With less than 5 percent of music purchased online, this market will go through massive growth in the next several years,” he added.

comScore’s analysis is based on the online behavior of 1 million U.S. consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior. The iTunes sales data is part of a total of 8.5 million buying transactions observed by comScore during the stated timeframe.

More info:

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “buzz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple Computer shares rise on target price increase, positive iTunes sales forecast – December 13, 2006
Forrester’s Bernoff: ‘iTunes sales are NOT plummeting! Press credibility, on the other hand…’ – December 13, 2006
Jim Cramer on Apple iTunes Store and ‘that stupid Forrester survey’ – December 13, 2006
Piper Jaffray: Apple iTunes Store sales show strong year-over-year growth – December 13, 2006
Morgan Stanley ups Apple Computer price target to $110 – December 13, 2006
Apple on Forrester report: ‘the conclusion that iTunes sales are slowing is simply incorrect’ – December 12, 2006
Blackfriars’ does the math: Apple iTunes sales are not ‘collapsing’ – December 12, 2006
iTunes interest climbs as one analyst claims falling sales – December 12, 2006
Akamai Net Usage Index for Digital Music measures real-time global consumption of online music – December 11, 2006
WSJ mistake: ‘digital-music sales have stalled for the first time since Apple launched iTunes Store’ – December 06, 2006
Digital downloads drive world music sales in first half of 2006 – October 13, 2006
Study reports the obvious: most music on iPods not from iTunes Store – September 17, 2006
Apple iTunes Gift Cards help boost growth of digital music in U.S. – April 21, 2006


  1. As a pod caster, I’m always recommending to people that they get a ! ! ! FREE ! ! ! copy of iTunes for their Mac ! ! ! OR ! ! ! Windows computers. It may not be the only way to listen to a pod cast, but … well, it is the best by so much it qualifies as the only sensible way (unless you use Linux).

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

  2. A sample size of 1M people is a lot better than 2000. This is in line with Apple’s own statements on sales over the past years.

    In Dec 2004 sales were around 1M per day, in Dec 2005 about 2M, and the last data we had in Sept was around 3M per day.

  3. Wonder if the Register will report this story?

    Already did. However, Andrew “Damn Apple! Flat levy for RIAA!!” Orlowski already spinned it so that it sounded like Forrester caved into Apple’s pressure and re-reported the story like Apple wanted.

  4. The forester research was based on – Wait for it- 181 yes thats right ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY ONE people’s credit card purchases over a 26 month period. They have the nerve to still defend their findings as being statistically significant. Their analysis verges on the criminal. Its amazing what money can buy.

  5. Anyone calling himself an “analyst” who doesn’t know that Apple is rocking the house should, first of all, check for a pulse, then go get a job doing something he might be good at, like sweeping floors.

  6. What’s with all these ‘facts’?
    Forrester is a leader in ‘truthiness’, and it sounds so much better!
    I sold all my AAPL yesterday, just to be safe.

    Okay, I’m kidding, I can’t even joke about that. >.<


    MW: ‘looking’ (forward to the NEXT artificial buying opportunity. Enderle? Dvorak???)

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