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iTMS Moving Up The Sales Charts 185

Posted by Zonk
from the lots-of-lost-fans dept.
Kyusaku Natsume writes "According to the NPD Group, Apple's iTunes Music Store has sold more music than Tower Records and Borders in the U.S., based on sales and download figures for July, August, and September." From the article: "At seventh equal in the chart was iTunes, up seven places on the same period last year. Both Tower Records and Borders slipped a place to seven and nine respectively. Russ Crupnick, music and movies industry analyst for NPD, said he would not be surprised if iTunes was to continue to climb the charts, especially in the run-up to Christmas when iPods are high on many present lists."
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iTMS Moving Up The Sales Charts

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  • Chipmunks (Score:4, Informative)

    by aedan (196243) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @05:37AM (#14118019) Homepage
    Well my kids enjoy the Chipmunks I got last week and I couldn't find it in a normal shop.

    aedan
  • Good news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by xfletch (623022) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @05:44AM (#14118034) Homepage
    But the reason I don't buy music there is that if I am spending that much cash, I want to own something more concrete. What if my computer is lost, or the data corrupted? With a CD I can always re-rip, but with just the MP3 file it would be gone forever...

    Why not have a system where once I own a song, I own it in perpetuity, and can download it again whenever I want?

    I wonder when the first lawsuit over consumer rights and ownership of 'lost' music files will be?

    • Re:Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rxke (644923) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @05:57AM (#14118065) Homepage
      What if your CD is lost, or scratched? You expect to get a shiny new one at the store you bought it from?
      • Re:Good news (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Seumas (6865)
        An expense is incurred in reproducing a physical object. Not so in duplicating a downloadable MP3.
        • Re:Good news (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          I'm sorry, but bandwidth may not be expensive, but it's not free either. It may be cheaper than furnishing a physical copy, but there is still a cost assosiated with each song download that they have to pay with the not-so-large portion of each 99c that they receive. Allowing customers to re-download missing files simply would not pay off in the end.
          • Re:Good news (Score:3, Interesting)

            by xfletch (623022)
            Allowing customers to re-download missing files simply would not pay off in the end.

            That is quite a bold statement. Perhaps the promise of permanent ownership and free future downloads would further increase consumer confidence in ITMS and significantly increase sales. Bandwidth costs would be easily offset against further sales, and with bandwidth becoming cheaper the long term costs of future downloads will become increasingly insignificant. Alternatively Apple could make a small charge for bandwidth co

            • Re:Good news (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Tim C (15259) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:03AM (#14118202)
              Bandwidth costs would be easily offset against further sales

              That is also quite a bold statement, given that you have no data for the likely number of repeat (no-cost) downloads. If the number is high enough, then no number of extra sales will cover it.

              (Note that I'm not saying that that's *likely*, just that it's *possible*)

              • I think it would be a great idea if you could re-download your songs and I would pay for it.

                1 cent is a good deal for me, and 1 cent will cover the network cost for iTunes.

                I think the problems aren't of a technical nature. I rather think that the RIAA has objections and concerns of abuse.
            • Re:Good news (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jacksonj04 (800021)
              Re-downloads are, to be perfectly honest, a negligable cost. I pay my 79p (UK), download the track, and it stays on my hard-disk until something catastrophic happens (My HDD falls over or my system is stolen, for example). I may re-download it once or twice a year.

              Napster does a good job of this. Purchases are stored centrally, and can be re-downloaded to any one of my three authorised machines. The major draw of Napster seems to be that the music is in fact streaming unless specifically downloaded, and the
              • Re:Good news (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward
                I pay my 79p (UK), download the track, and it stays on my hard-disk until something catastrophic happens (My HDD falls over or my system is stolen, for example). I may re-download it once or twice a year.

                Man, if you're losing or destroying your hardware once or twice a year, you should really be backing up everything (not to mention being more careful with your system), not just depending on being able to re-download some purchased music files.
        • An expense is incurred in reproducing a physical object. Not so in duplicating a downloadable MP3.

          Which is why the smart thing to do, instead of bitching and moaning that iTunes should let you re-download things, is to just back your music up yourself, as you would any other important files.

          People seem to forget that iTunes DRM doesn't prevent you from copying the file as many times as you like.
        • An expense is incurred in reproducing a physical object. Not so in duplicating a downloadable MP3

          The context of your comment made it seem as if possibly that were a reason to prefer the CD, but says to me MP3's are better as they are easier to back up. With a CD you have to go through the work of ripping and then make sure you hang onto both digtal and physical media; easier to just have the digital file and anyone with a computer should have a good backup procedure anyway.
      • Re:Good news (Score:3, Informative)

        by Adelle (851961)
        Um, didn't Sony promise to replace all our damaged CDs as part of their case against a Playstation modder in Europe.

        Part of their argument as to why there is no legitimate reason to play burnt CDs, was that the publisher will replace any CDs that get damaged, so there is no need to keep a back-up, (and therefore, no need to mod one's playstation to enable the use of such back-ups).

      • What if your CD is lost, or scratched? You expect to get a shiny new one at the store you bought it from?

        CDs still work with a certain amount of scratches? How many bits can go wrong in an AAC and still allow it to play?

        CDs are easily backed up. When they are lost it is generally a direct loss, I left it somewhere, not an indirect loss, my house burned down and my CDs were destroyed. The AAC files are subject to an indirect loss via a hard drive going bad. More importantly CDs give you everything th
        • CDs are easily backed up.

          As are M4P files. They're just regular old files that happen to contain music in an ecrypted form. You can back them up as easily as any other data. Copy them to a CD (as data, not audio) or other form of backup and you're safe as kittens.
          • CDs are easily backed up.
            As are M4P files. They're just regular old files that happen to contain music in an ecrypted form.
            In fact, data files on a HD are about 1000x easier to backup than a few hundred CDs. I can only imagine the horror of actually trying to backup a pile of cds.
        • More importantly CDs give you everything that downloads do.

          CDs sure do give you more than a'la carte song file purchasing. For example, with a CD you get 11 really crappy songs along with the only one you like, and all for the amazing low price of $15.99. You know, it's 13 years later but I still feel ticked that the "4 Non-Blondes" album I bought in 1993 had one song worth hearing on it. This was at a time when I'd just gotten out of college and was really broke. I wish I could have sampled the alb

    • Why not have a system where once I own a song, I own it in perpetuity, and can download it again whenever I want?

      Hey, I agree with you, and the whole point of digital distribution is that this is entirely reasonable. But the market has momentum, including momentum in ideas, which means that music sellers just don't have to do this yet.

      CUSTOMER: Man, my little brother used my favourite Vanilla Ice CD for target practice! Can I have another one? I already paid for it, before, like.
      SALES GUY: (*WTF?!!*) Uh

    • Back up your data! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Vandil X (636030) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @06:40AM (#14118156)
      No, seriously.

      If you do anything remotely important with your computer (entertainment included), then you should be doing regular back ups.

      Restoring iTunes music and video files from a backup set of DVD-Rs or an external hard disk is almost effortless. If you value your electronic purchases (and other data) that much, you'll back it up.

      Now as for being able to play your DRM'd files in 20 years, you might want to transcode or do like most people did when going from VHS to DVD: re-purchase in the new format.

      • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @03:32PM (#14119998)
        Not to mention that iTunes *constantly* bothers you to back up, and makes back ups brain-dead simple. (You can just set the CD burning to "music files", hit select all, and hit burn. It'll fill each CD/DVD with as many tracks as fit and ask for the next one in turn. Or, even easier, just copy your ~/music/itunes directory onto an external HD or DVD.
      • Just being cynical here, but the MPAA sorta pushes to get things like DVD-R's to be more expensive to "discourage piracy", so the notion that we should be able to make all sorts of backups on media that's already being inflated in price to prevent piracy in order to be more responsible is quite over the top.
    • But the reason I don't buy music there is that if I am spending that much cash, I want to own something more concrete. What if my computer is lost, or the data corrupted? With a CD I can always re-rip, but with just the MP3 file it would be gone forever...

      huh? what if your CD is lost, or the surface scratched. exactly the same thing, you don't get it back. it's gone. it's lost forever.

      Either the iTMS download or a ripped MP3 from the CD is copyable, and able to be backed up an infinite amount of times on an
    • Re:Good news (Score:5, Informative)

      by the_Pnut (894120) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @10:05AM (#14118653)
      Have you ever tried this?

      I called the tech support number on iTunes and told them that the hard drive on my computer failed, and that I lost all my songs. The lady I talked to spent 5 minutes with me "refreshing" my account. At the end I opened iTunes, clicked on advanced-> check for purchases, and then all of the songs I had bought from iTunes re-downloaded. That didn't help for all the songs I had that I did not buy from iTunes, but apple was very easy to deal with, and allowed me to "re-own" the music I had bought from them. Now I run a back up script every week, cause it's just easier, but apple definitely lets to download your music again if you wish too.

      Also, if you want something more "concrete" you can burn from apple's lossless format to a CD, and then put the CD in your rack.

      • I had a very similar experience with the music store, though I only lost a few songs. Apple was able to get them all back for me. I was rather impressed by how nice they were about the whole thing, and it's one of the reason I still buy a lot of music from them. I do wish though they would start selling music in Apple Lossless (protected or not, I don't care, since Apple's DRM seem liberal enough), and even better offer the ability to upgrade songs to that format. I'd be willing to pay a small fee per song
      • Also, if you want something more "concrete" you can burn from apple's lossless format to a CD, and then put the CD in your rack.

        Wha? I'm pretty sure that the music they sell you is NOT lossless. Their .m4p AAC format is NOT Apple Lossless. In order to use Apple Lossless and make it worthwhile, you have to have a CD in the first place, then encode to Apple Lossless.

        Besides, buying the music from iTunes doesn't get a nice printed booklet or the lyrics.
    • Have you ever heard of something called a "CD burner" or maybe an "FTP server"?
    • I wonder when the first lawsuit over consumer rights and ownership of 'lost' music files will be?

      About the time some lawyer gets dumb enough to attack Apple's policy that what the thing you own is the bits you've downloaded and the right to listen to them.

      What if my computer is lost, or the data corrupted? With a CD I can always re-rip, but with just the MP3 file it would be gone forever...

      iTunes does nothing to prevent you from copying the music onto any form of backup media, be it a CD, DVD, another compu
      • iTunes does nothing to prevent you from copying the music onto any form of backup media, be it a CD, DVD, another computer, twenty other computers, an external disk, an FTP server, a tape, or a bunch of floppies. If you're not doing this already for your other valuable data, you've only yourself to blame. iTunes even has CD/DVD (data) burning built-in, so you really don't have much excuse.

        Uh, dude, I don't know where you've been, but the entire fucking point of DRM is to artificially limit your copying priv
        • Uh, dude, I don't know where you've been, but the entire fucking point of DRM is to artificially limit your copying privilidges so you get inconvenienced in this way. Sure, Apple makes it quite simple to get around the artificial limitation, but the fact remains that this DRM is making it so you can't even legally back it up yourself.

          You're so caught up in your anti-Apple/iTunes zealotry that you don't know the facts.

          You can copy your iTunes files as many times as you want to anything you want: CDs, D
  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Saturday November 26, 2005 @05:48AM (#14118042) Homepage Journal
    he would not be surprised if iTunes was to continue to climb the charts, especially in the run-up to Christmas when iPods are high are many present lists.

    The run-up to Christmas? Wouldn't it be more likely that it will climb after Christmas, after said iPods are opened and starting to be used?

  • Take the long view (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gobbo (567674)
    All the manoevering you're seeing and hearing from competitors, FUD and disinfo and legitimate complaints, is because the people in the middle of this new-take-on-an-old-market have the long view.

    The next retail high-season, pshaw. Think twelve years from now. Apple competitors in the media-hub-style emerging markets have puckered anuses. Meanwhile it's full steam ahead towards full vertical integration at Apple.

    It's an old saw by now, but since Sony isn't there already (and they could've been, nearly), J

  • by know1 (854868) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @05:50AM (#14118052)
    i have a friend whose band is on itunes, they are called yonni. they have no record deal at the moment, but recorded the songs in a studio themselves. maybe in the future companies like apple will replace traditional record companmies entirely. would be nice, no dirty executives and slimy contracts, just the musician and the record store, how it should be. watch record company executives everywhere get worried...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, 2005 @05:51AM (#14118053)
    ...who has said "If someone can get something for free, they sure as hell won't buy it!" will shut up now. A large proportion of people - certainly enough to keep a business afloat - will pay for things by default, but get put off due to "value additions" such as draconian DRM or the general attitude from most media companies that all of their customers are thieves*. Apple has grasped that it is not necessarily cost that deters people from buying but inconvenience, and so by stream-lining the process of payment and delivery so that it is almost imperceptible - so, in fact, the customer can almost forget that they are "buying" anything at all! - they have managed to shore up such massive sales as to be an embarrassment to the RIAA. We see a similar thing with, of all things, mobile-phone ringtones - massive quantities are available online for free, but the fact that buying a ringtone is so much easier has led to this unfathomable market [if you had told me that such crappy "products" as ringtones would have been even mildly profitable a few years back, I'd have thought you were mad!] raking in billions per year.

    * A recent example of this - I liked "Batman Begins" very much, and thought it was sufficiently well-written and directed that I'd like to reward the makers by buying a copy, even if it's not something I'm necessarily going to watch again enough to justify the purchase. Upon it's arrival, I opened the box and the first thing that fell out was not a nice, slick inlay, but a anti-piracy leaflet from piracyisacrime.com. Rolling my eyes, I placed the DVD into my player and settled down to watch the film, and what do I see? No slick animated menus, not even the boringly superfluous trailers for films I'm never going to watch, but a fucking commercial equating "piracy" with car-theft!. It looks like it was supposed to be unskippable, too, but thankfully my player does not have the "prevent the owner from skipping stuff he doesn't want to see" "value addition". The lunacy of this is astounding - it is as if PickleWorld(TM) created a huge, terrifying banner equating pickle-theft with murder to be placed in their stores, but instead of putting it over the side-exit or whichever mode of exit is usually employed by the serial pickle-thief, they put it over the checkout where it can only be seen by paying customers!

    FUCK YOU PICKLEWORLD!

    --SSJ

    • No slick animated menus, not even the boringly superfluous trailers for films I'm never going to watch, but a fucking commercial equating "piracy" with car-theft!.

      Do you have a torrent of that commercial, please?

  • well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by know1 (854868)
    although they may have drm at least they don't have rootkits. record company shot itself in the foot there. looks like the slow and drawn out death of the record companies is inevitable
    • You posted a valid comment and I would have modded it back up if I'd had points.

      I've had the same thought myself - the rootkit in CDs definitely makes CDs less valuable than iTMS download for those of us who like listening to music on our computers.

      Even though Sony backed down this time, I'm sure their next effort will be almost as obnoxious, so it makes me no longer trust the CD medium.

      D
  • A few days ago there was a story about how iTunes is expected to change its 99 cent flat pricing in the next year; in that article the following claim is made, "EMI said today that digital sales, made up 4.9% of the company's sales in the last six months, up from 2.1% a year ago." (http://www.forbes.com/2005/11/16/apple-emi-itune s -cx_pak_1116autofacescan08.html [forbes.com]). How can iTunes be so high in one chart, yet only account for less than 5% of EMI's total sales in the same period. From what I understand, EMI
    • >> How can iTunes be so high in one chart, yet only account for less than 5% of EMI's total sales in the same period.

      According to the article, Apple is number seven in sales. It is quite possible to be number seven with only 5 percent of sales. Someone might have more accurate numbers, but I think in computer sales Apple is number 5 with about 5%, and Dell is number one with 18%, so Apple could easily be number seven in record sales with only five percent. Depends on how big the six bigger ones are (
    • EMI is "one" of many labels. Could that be the discrepancy? iTMS launched in several markets without Sony participation (Japan & Australia).
  • So Apple has picked off the easy targets. Still a LONG way to go till wallmart should be worried.

    (and wasn't the original press release [npd.com] 5 days ago?)

  • <pedantic> (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, 2005 @06:49AM (#14118173)
    Here is the press release [npd.com] by the NPD Group (those who did the study).
    In Q3, the top 10 retailers were as follows (note: numbers within parentheses denote retailer unit-sales position in Q3 2004):

    1. Wal-Mart (1)
    2. Best Buy (2)
    3. Target (3)
    4. Amazon.com (4)
    5. FYE (10)
    6. Circuit City (Tied for 5)
    7. Apple\iTunes (14)
    8. Tower Records (Tied for 7)
    9. Sam Goody (Tied for 5)
    10. Borders (9)
    This clearly has iTunes at position 7, Tower records at 8 (at 7 last year), and Borders at 10 (at 9 last year). Yet the Guardian says: "Both Tower Records and Borders slipped a place to seven and nine respectively." (No, that's from seven and nine).

    I'm also somewhat hesitant about accepting these figures. Online, CDBaby [cdbaby.com] nearly outsells Amazon.com, yet it's nowhere to be seen in this chart. It is of course always possible that they're at position 11 or thereabouts (Hey Derek: you reading? Any idea?), but likewise it wouldn't surprise me at all if they'd been completely disregarded, given that they only sell independent artists...
    • Re: (Score:5, Funny)

      by jsight (8987) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @10:31AM (#14118743) Homepage

      Online, CDBaby nearly outsells Amazon.com, yet it's nowhere to be seen in this chart.


      No, they don't.
    • Maybe it is a regional thing, but Hastings is by far the most popular brick-and-mortar music store among all the people I know. Best Buy and Circuit city both have a smaller selection and higher prices than Hastings. Same with Sam Goody, although I can understand it getting a spot, since teens who live at the mall usually shop there. I can also see Walmart at the top spot, and know a few people who buy music there. FYE must also be a regional thing because I have never heard of it.
      • Re: regional. Must be, because I've never heard of Hastings...

        Simon
        • I looked into it, and I guess it is pretty regional [gohastings.com]. Started in texas and grew [gohastings.com] from there mainly into small to medium markets that weren't already dominated by other companies. Doesn't exist at all in california or the east coast. The distribution of F.Y.E. stores [fye.com] is almost the exact opposite of the Hastings map.

          Interesting, I always just assumed Hastings was one of the major companies.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      Online, CDBaby [cdbaby.com] nearly outsells Amazon.com, yet it's nowhere to be seen in this chart.

      Uh. Do you have any particular reason that I should believe you more than this chart?
  • by lpangelrob (714473) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:27AM (#14118254)
    Interesting. I had my 3-4 months of initial interest and purchasing, but that was about a year ago. About then I pretty much just stopped purchasing music, though (except for recently when I decided to start listening to jazz).

    iTunes makes more sense when you're looking for music. I only knew that at Best Buy, I'd look for something and it would take a minute to find the right section, and then another minute to find the right area where the artist theoretically should be, and then another to determine that no, they don't have the CD.

    Stranger still is the fact that some bands STILL refuse to (or their labels prohibit them from) posting all their CDs on iTMS. I'm looking at you, Dave Matthews Band.

    What's the deal with that? Do they intentionally want to lower their sales figures? Or do they still operate in the theoretical haze of "profit margins" for sales that don't exist (iTMS) vs. sales that might exist otherwise (Best Buy, Tower)?

    • Stranger still is the fact that some bands STILL refuse to (or their labels prohibit them from) posting all their CDs on iTMS. I'm looking at you, Dave Matthews Band.

      I'm looking at Linkin Park (and others) for the same reason. My solution is to buy the CD used. I mean, I want to reward the artist, but when it seems their concern is about the legality of a certain kind of distribution, they get nothing. Bands take note: you can either get a share of the album's $9.99 from iTMS or zero of the $7.95

    • Stranger still is the fact that some bands STILL refuse to (or their labels prohibit them from) posting all their CDs on iTMS. I'm looking at you, Dave Matthews Band. What's the deal with that? Do they intentionally want to lower their sales figures?

      Dave Matthews is pimping his stuff through an exclusive arrangement with Wal-Mart. Highly appropriate, really. Cheap and nasty music sold through a cheap and nasty store. Next thing you know, they'll be employing musicians in "sweat shop" recording studios to

    • Stranger still is the fact that some bands STILL refuse to ... posting all their CDs on iTMS. I'm looking at you, Dave Matthews Band.

      They're too busy dumping raw, human, Dave Matthews-scented sewage into a formerly remarkably-clean stretch of the Chicago River [cbs2chicago.com]. Thanks, Dave. Just like other industries, I hold you responsible for the actions of your "independent contractors." Keep talking the environmentalist talk since you don't walk the environmentalist walk.
  • by jpellino (202698) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @07:40AM (#14118277)
    "Apple is the living embodiment of evil because they don't deliver me full quality ogg in a DRM free CD and DVD and and thumbdrive and certainly won't call me in 6 months with my free BluRay / HD because information wants to be free as in air."

    "All digital music is compromised crap anyway, I only listen to each band live in concert in the first city of every tour, 4th row center. Please IM me at "in33dskymil3s247".

    "iPods can't hold a candle to those myriad failed / bankrupt players, but Apple has succeeded because they have managed to emulate MS in their draconian underhanded methods. Fight the power!"

    "Ah, yet more solid proof that Apple will in the ashcan in mere hours - Dvorak is working on revision 37 of his eulogy as we speak - this time for sure!"
  • Just a precursor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bbzzdd (769894) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @09:11AM (#14118479)

    Times are changing. People are no longer satisfied paying upwards to $20 USD for physical media which becomes more and more restrictive as time goes by.

    The "free love" people tasted with P2P was a stake in the heart of the physical format. We can't go back to the way things were. People like iTunes because it sucks less than the alternatives. Sure, it's coated with DRM, but at least it's not installing rootkits on your PC.

    Home recording, inexpensive marketing via the internet, and the digital media formats are the trifecta that will strip a lot of undeserving middle-aged record execs of their Diablos.

    The music recording industry is fixing to implode, but what rises from the ashes could be very promising.

  • by nbahi15 (163501) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @11:12AM (#14118909) Homepage
    When iTunes first came out I bought a song out of novelty, but I already had such a substantial music selection on CD it seemed rather pointless. I primarily listen to indie rock, but recently I have been buying a lot more classical. iTunes is really the only good way to buy classical. Going into Best Buy to discuss Brahms and his Hungarian Dances is pointless, and you can't tell if they are of very good quality until you get them home. In addition to the ability to listen to the music in advance the prices are much better. If you go into a shop with a decent selection of classical music everything starts at $30. I get albums for $9.99 on iTMS. I really hope iTunes becomes more successful because music sales have been something of a racket for so long.
    • by meehawl (73285)
      iTunes is really the only good way to buy classical.

      Classical at 128Kbps? What does that sound like?
      • I find it quite listenable, both with headphones and speakers, but your mileage may vary.
      • And in AAC? I hope you don't appreciate dynamic changes in classical music. Same goes for pitch (e.g. a piccolo).
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday November 26, 2005 @12:27PM (#14119205) Homepage
    Here's the actual list [npd.com], with last year's ranking in parentheses:
    1. Wal-Mart (1)
    2. Best Buy (2)
    3. Target (3)
    4. Amazon.com (4)
    5. FYE (10)
    6. Circuit City (Tied for 5)
    7. Apple\iTunes (14)
    8. Tower Records (Tied for 7)
    9. Sam Goody (Tied for 5)
    10. Borders (9)

    This list has some tough implications for the RIAA and its members. None of the top four companies gets most of its revenue from music. They're all very strong companies used to telling their suppliers what prices they want to see. The classic "record store" chains, Tower and Sam Goody, are falling off the list.

    Some of the changes just reflect consolidation in the record store industry. FYE [fye.com] is a classic "record store" chain. It's really Trans World Entertainment [twec.com], the result of mergers between Wherehouse, Record Town, Camelot Music, and Strawberries. Stores in malls carry the FYE brand ("offering a consistent mall-based retailing experience"), while freestanding stores bear the names Wherehouse Music, Coconuts Music & Movies, Strawberries, Spec's, CD World, Streetside Records and Planet Music.

    Also, don't forget that Wal-Mart sells music on-line. [walmart.com] Even if the RIAA can bully Apple into raising the song price for iPods, that's not going to work with Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart just won't tolerate suppliers increasing their prices. They'll find other suppliers. Note the growing list of "Wal-Mart exclusives".

  • The problem with this is the assumption that twelve songs is an album. A lot of the music I listen to has eight to ten songs on an album, but as I remember, more popular music typically has more than twelve songs per album.

    Somebody needs to do the legwork and figure out how many individual songs were sold at the other retailers and divide that by twelve as well.

    I think they may have chosen twelve as the number of songs per album to make a splash... this story has been reported all over the place, if iTunes
  • So next year Apple has to re-negotiate thier contract.

    The labels want to charge $2 (or more) for some songs - Apple wants to keep it the same. I would think having sales larger than some physical stores would give Apple some leverage to say "Well Sony, you can disagree if you like but do you really want to loose out on sales of this magnitude? People will just go back to downloading music and the labels that do sign with us will have a lot of money coming in you wont have..."

    If there's one thing it's hard

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