iTunes to surpass RealPlayer in first half of 2007

Unique iTunes users will exceed RealPlayer users by the first half of 2007, according to projections by Website Optimization.

Users of iTunes grew by 47.5% over the past year, while the other streaming media players had single-digit growth.

At current growth rates iTunes users will exceed RealPlayer users by the second quarter of 2007:

Over the past year, the number of unique users of Apple’s iTunes player grew by 47.5%. Over the same time period, RealPlayer users grew by 9.1%, QuickTime by 8.7%, and Windows Media Player grew by 2.0% according to data provided by Nielsen//NetRatings (see Table 1). At current growth rates, iTunes should pass RealPlayer in unique users by the second quarter of 2007. Apple should be whistling a happy tune this year. While iTunes continues to show stong double-digit growth rates, Windows Media Player growth appeared to slow over the past year.

More info, including broadband growth trends in the US and Europe, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “RadDoc” for the heads up.]
iTunes is based on QuickTime. If you’re watching or listening to media with iTunes, you’re simply using QuickTime with the iTunes UI. In the table above, add iTunes and QuickTime together and you’ll see that QuickTime use surpassed RealPlayer use in late 2005. Not to mention that RealPlayer is pure evil controlled by a nasty donut-eating troll.

These Nielsen//NetRatings QuickTime numbers always look strange to us, perhaps because Apple, on June 6, 2005, stated that “nearly a billion copies” of QuickTime have been downloaded all-time. And, the last time we checked, QuickTime was part of the iTunes installation under Windows, so do the math.

Regardless, by whatever measure, QuickTime use is obviously rising rapidly and those media outlets that insist on streaming in the limited choice of either Windows Media or Real need to rethink their delivery choices. Why would any company that offers online video provide content playable in the third place player and not the second place player that’s growing more rapidly than all others?

Related article:
Apple’s QuickTime-based iTunes shows massive growth, to pass RealPlayer soon – March 16, 2006


  1. People in the UK should now be arguing for the BBC to drop RealPlayer, and use Quicktime instead….

    Of course they could also drop Windows Media ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  2. The interesting thing is that iTunes isn’t really comparable to Quicktime, windows media player or real player. iTunes is “Jukebox” and as such when you use it you’re pretty much using it directly. Things like Quicktime and Realplayer are used primarily in browser and often certain players are used because you have no choice. I use Realplayer to listen to BBC radion and that’s basically it – I have to. I choose to use iTunes for my music.

  3. It’s all nice. I love Quicktime. And I don’t like Real Player. But Apple should also release a Linux version of Quicktime Player and iTunes, which Linux users have been waiting for a long time.

    If they make it for the enemy (Windows), why not Linux? After all, the porting should be easier.

  4. Since this is a count of users, as in number of people actively using the software, I don’t think you can just add iTunes and QT numbers together like that… seems like twisting the stats to me.

    & the one billion QT downloads mean nothing. I’m sure I’ve downloaded a copy dozens of times over the years. I would still count as one user.

    Think how many copies of WMP must exist but aren’t counted as they aren’t used. Far far more than 100 000 due to proliferation of Windows.

  5. Flexural is correct, and MDN is obviously playing ignorant. A count of actual, unique users is much more informative and definitely not equal to the number of downloaded copies. Additionally, “using QT” is not equal to “using iTunes” and vice versa, which is another reason why “downloaded copies” is not equal to “number of active users.” It is very interesting to see how these different software programs compare in terms of actual usage. Of course, comparing iTunes to Real Player or WMP is not really an accurate comparison.

  6. When a Mac user clicks on a Winblows Media file and Flip4Mac kicks in, does that data reflect this? The net connection would show that the machine is a Mac, so what does the player information show? Does it assume its QuickTime, when it’s really Winblows?

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