Apple’s iTunes Store music, TV show, and movie sales show accelerating growth

Apple Store“In case anyone believes that selling 100 million iPods in five years is no big deal, here’s a bit of history. In 1945, there were 7,000 televisions in the US. By 1949, that number had grown to 1 million, and it hit 10 million just two years later in 1952. But it took more than 30 years for the number of televisions sold to exceed 100 million. Apple achieved that same 100 million mark with iPods in just five years,” Carl Howe writes for Blackfriars’ Marketing.

Howe writes, “iTunes just passed the 2.5 billion song mark. Now for those of you keeping score at home, that means that iTunes is now selling a billion songs about every six months. But wait, there’s more! According to our figures, iPod sales passed the 100 million iPod mark in March, and TV shows passed the 50 million shows sold mark as well. Add onto that the 1.3 million feature length movies that have been sold to date, and well, I’d say you have quite a fast-growing business.”

MacDailyNews Note: That 1.3 million feature length movies number is quite old. Apple has not undated that figure in several months. Disney film sales via Apple’s iTunes Store alone notched over 1.3 million sold in first three months. Apple has been selling feature-length movies since September 12, 2006 or for nearly seven months. We suspect that Apple’s holding back the feature film numbers until they reach a nice round milestone number that’ll generate them the maximum PR bang.

Howe continues, “The really interesting part about this graph is the fact that iPod sales appear to be continuing their exponential climb into the stratosphere. That’s important because it drives Apple’s earnings report, which we’ll hear more about later this month. But don’t ignore those TV shows or movies at the bottom. They’re on a very steep growth curve themselves — and there are a lot of new Apple TVs that are going to need feeding with content this year.”

“By all public measures available so far, iTunes is well on the way to repeating its domination of digital music in digital TV and movies,” Howe writes.

Full article with graphs of Apple iTunes Store’s astounding performance here.

Related articles:
Apple hits major milestones: 100 Million iPods sold, 2.5 billion iTunes Store songs sold – April 09, 2007
Disney film sales via Apple’s iTunes Store rise sharply; over 1.3 million sold in first three months – February 02, 2007
Apple adds Paramount films to iTunes Store – January 09, 2007
Disney sells nearly 500,000 movies via Apple’s iTunes Store in less than two months – November 09, 2006
Disney sells 125,000 movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes Store in first week – September 19, 2006


  1. And what is really amazing is that all those songs sold only represent a small percentage of total songs purchased with all the CD’s out there. As this trend evolves toward portable music players, these numbers will be exponential. It is possible that Apple will be in the history books known for iTunes/iPod first and the personal computer second.

  2. I tend to buy more TV shows/videos than songs these days, and I still think that’s where Apple’s true growth area is more than music or movies. The release of Apple TV will only push more video sales from the iTS.

  3. Right. Comparing iPod sales to TV sales. TVs cost a helluva lot more than iPods. If a TV cost $500 in 1949, an iPod would have cost about $20 or less. It’s like saying there are more pairs of stretch socks being sold than HD TVs. Billions of stretch socks have been sold, proving they are more popular than 60-inch 1080 TVs!

    100 zillion more people on the planet than inn1949 doesn’t mean squat, either.

    Stupid fsck.

  4. @Tommy Boy
    Howe probably couldn’t come up with worldwide TV sales figures, and you’re right that that makes his comparison appear apples-to-oranges. That said, I would be willing to bet that during the early era of television the vast majority of TVs were sold in the USA. There were few postwar countries that could support mass sales of such a luxury item at that time. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than 90% of all tvs sold in the period Howe refers to were sold in the U.S.

  5. vrruuummmm….vvvvrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuummmmm.

    Just getting started. Fully integrated hardware, software, and media delivery service…..cross integration across my phone, computer, tv, etc.

  6. Also comparing 1952 with 2007! A more accurate count would be population based; as grows the population so grows sales. One million was a huge number in 1952, not so now.

  7. I would be interested in seeing the comparison of iPod sales to the sales of Sony Walkmans in the 70s and 80s. That would be much better comparison than TVs in the 40s and 50s. Comparing iPods and televisions is like comparing the sales of motor scooters and mini-vans—sure they are both a mode of transportation but they are in entirely different catagories.

    The original Walkmans were also somewhat expensive but quickly came down in price because of fierce competiton with copycats. TVs remained expensive luxuries for years.

    iPods have also come down quickly in price but there is no fierce competition yet.

  8. TV sales and iPod sales are a poor comparison and the numbers are misleading. First, for television, the idea of watching video at home was pretty novel. Listening to music on the go has been around for a long time in many forms – in dash radio, portable radio sets, in dish casette/8-track, walkman, discman, etc. Second, the content for TV was not there for it to be a fit for everyone. For the iPod, PCs were deeply entrenched in the market and content already existed in the homs of many in the form of CDs (yes, you can convert vinyl, etc, but that is additional cost in hardware and software…oh, and also requires more than pressing a single button, which apparently qualifies as “tricky”). Third, the numbers have to be adjusted for population. Last, this is total iPods sold worldwide, not just in the US, right?

    A better comparison might be DVD players. Though this will be skewed against the DVD player because of content available in the household was there for iPod and not for DVD players.

    All that said, the continued growth of iTunes sales in music, TV, and movies is quite nice. Though the true potential of selling media via download will not be realized until full quality files are sold in this manner, iTunes continues to build the foundation for that day. Let us hope they continue to be at the forefront of this evolution.

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