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iTunes Sales 'Collapsing' 651

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the nothing-definitive dept.
Alien54 writes to tell us The Register is reporting that based on reported revenues this year iTunes sales are plummetting. From the article: "Secretive Apple doesn't break out revenues from iTunes, but Forrester conducted an analysis of credit card transactions over a 27-month period. And this year's numbers aren't good. While the iTunes service saw healthy growth for much of the period, since January the monthly revenue has fallen by 65 per cent, with the average transaction size falling 17 per cent. The previous spring's rebound wasn't repeated this year."
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iTunes Sales 'Collapsing'

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  • iTunes 7.0 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 11, 2006 @11:26PM (#17203504)
    The disaster that was iTunes 7.0 is a very likely explanation for this. It must have cost Apple millions to release a version of iTunes that failed to run properly on Win32. If nobody lost their job over that, it says some very bad things about the company's management.
  • Why buy the cow? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:31AM (#17204902)
    Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

    Legitimate users of iTunes have always confounded me. What with the way they dress and their holier-than-thou attitude.
  • The Register (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffkjo1 (663413) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:34AM (#17204918) Homepage
    From the article:

    Speaking to The Register, Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff warned against extrapolating too much from the figures. It may reflect a seasonal bounce that hasn't yet manifested itself. However, it might not.

    So maybe there's something going on... maybe not.

    More than that, The Register is not exactly a trustworthy news source. Think of it as the supermarket tabloid of Technology News. I wouldn't be surprised to see something like 'Steve Jobs an Alien Lovechild' on it's front page.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:39AM (#17204946)
    After reading TFA, I'm not sure if what they're deducing is actually real or not. But I can tell you this - when I can get a real CD on Amazon for $10-12, and it costs me exactly that for a noticeably lower-quality digital-only version of the same album, then I see no reason to buy from the ITMS. I don't pirate music; I buy what I want... and the vast majority of my purchases these past three years (the time period over which I've owned an iPod) have been in the form of CDs.

    The bigger question, though, is this: Does Apple really care? ITMS can't be making them any sort of profit compared to iPod sales; and iPod sales are still going up. All in all, Apple seems to be enjoying a healthy bottom line.

  • by MrPerfekt (414248) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:41AM (#17204958) Homepage Journal
    No, this is just some bad data. If "secretive Apple" isn't publishing data, where do that get it from? Oh yeah, Forrester...

    *crickets*

    I'm probably missing something and that's okay. Because you can analyze numbers to your hearts content, the point that all the "analysts" are missing is that most of the DRM'd music that's been released is backcatalog, plain and simple. Did it ever occur to anyone that many people probably splurged on legal tunes that they already loved and owned to get it onto their iPod (or whatever). Now that they have all the favorites/classics/etc., there is no reason for them to keep pace with whatever of the 70% crap that the industry pumps out.

    Maybe the industry is just slowed down while they wait for Brittany, Nickelback and whatever shitty country singer to release their new album? Stop thinking that small decline in numbers means THE INDUSTRY IS DEAAAAAAD. It's ridiculous.
  • by Nemus (639101) <astarchman@hotmail.com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:42AM (#17204964) Journal
    Make your player truly affordable for a full time college student working a full time job, give me the ability to easily take all the songs I buy to any device, any media I wanna take them to, and we'll talk. In the meantime, I'll buy CDs from my local indie record store, and do with them as I see fit.
  • by Golias (176380) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:48AM (#17204984)
    Did it ever occur to anyone that many people probably splurged on legal tunes that they already loved and owned to get it onto their iPod (or whatever).

    Why would anybody buy a song they already own on CD???

    Ripping a song from CD to either AAC or Apple Lossless is faster than downloading via a typical broadband connection.

    iTMS is awesome for a very specific purpose: 1-hit wonders.

    Anybody who makes an album of consistently good music, I'd rather hunt down a used CD and rip it to a Lossless file, but if I only want one or two songs from a particular artist ever, and I'm not too fussy about hi-fi sound, then $1 per song is a good deal.
  • by cei (107343) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:50AM (#17204994) Homepage Journal
    Wait, you want them to make a player you can afford, and you still want to say "screw 'em" if you can't easily take your music to a competitor's player? Doesn't sound like you're giving them an incentive to do either.
  • by Dhrakar (32366) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:54AM (#17205014)
    Don't forget that the author of the article is Andrew Orlowski. His particular axe to grind is that he wants all of us to pay for digital music via a mandatory flat licensing scheme. That is, all of us would pay a bit (or a lot) extra for our broadband access and that money would be used to pay artists, publishers, etc. Thus, I'd take any predictions he makes about iTunes collapsing as either A) wishful thinking on his part or B) an exaggeration of what Forrester really told him.
  • by SinGunner (911891) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:57AM (#17205042)
    Your two points work well together. Indie labels don't usually have much of a back-catalog.
  • by Lane.exe (672783) * on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:58AM (#17205046) Homepage
    Mod parent up, +1 Insightful. I burned all my mod points earlier or else I would.
  • by cei (107343) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @04:01AM (#17205060) Homepage Journal
    correction: low-fidelity 128-bit AACs, which do actually sound a bit better than 128-bit MP3s. And using my cassette adapter into the stereo of my 10+ year old car, cruising down the bumpy road at 50+ mph with my AC going full blast, I'm guessing I'm really not going to miss any frequency loss from the source material.
  • Re:The Register (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @04:08AM (#17205094)
    More than that, The Register is not exactly a trustworthy news source.

    To the contrary. I think it's more authoritative than 95% of the "news" that's linked from here. (John Dvorak -- give me a break.) You may disagree with their opinion pieces, but that's another issue. And Slashdot submitters, thorough malice or stupidity, have submitted many of their joke pieces as straight news. They're not to blame for the non-existence of Slashdot's vetting system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @04:18AM (#17205144)
    Forrester conducted an analysis of credit card transactions over a 27-month period.

    WTF? How does Forrester get hold of credit card records? Don't financial institutions treat their customers' data as confidential any more? I think that's a bigger story than whether the ipod is doing well.
  • Credit Cards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joebert (946227) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @04:23AM (#17205160) Homepage
    Who the hell is Forrester & how have they had access to Credit Card transactions for 27 months ?

    Where the hell did my tinfoil hat go ?!
  • by McNally (105243) <mmcnally@nospaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @04:31AM (#17205192) Homepage
    Sales are down since January, hmmm? Gee, I wonder what happens in January... Could that be the month that huge numbers of people who received iPods for Christmas try out the iTunes store for the first time? How about waiting a month and comparing January to January figures before drawing conclusions about a "collapse"?

    For reasons earlier posters have done an excellent job of outlining, I'm skeptical about the article and its methodology, but even if they're correct is the situation really a grave concern for Apple? The (barely profitable) iTunes Music Store exists to sell (highly profitable) iPods, not the other way around. As long as iPod sales are healthy (and apparently they're very healthy) the effects of "collapsing" sales at iTMS would be secondary or tertiary concerns for Apple's digital music player business. Apple's big wins from the iTunes Music Store come through FairPlay DRM lock-in and influence in the music industry, neither of which is yet affected by these supposedly "collapsing" sales figures.
  • by ewireless (963178) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @04:51AM (#17205272)
    The kids that I know of that buy stuff in iTunes mostly get their iTunes funds from gift cards purchased in stores. If this guy is trying to track iTunes sales by tracking credit card transactions done directly with iTunes, he's going to be missing a ton of business that is now driven through gift cards. Those credit card transactions will show for the retailer that sold the gift card, not for iTunes.
  • well of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tehwebguy (860335) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @04:57AM (#17205288) Homepage
    this is just like when dvd sales initially dropped off. after a while, people have finished replacing their vhs with dvds and sales will drop.
  • by Jason1729 (561790) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @05:06AM (#17205334)
    I would like to see a mac mini with TiVo-killer hardware and software, but I doubt it will exist as long as Apple is selling TV shows in their store.

    The movies and TV shows are in crappy quality aimed at the iPod screen size too, so they're a gross ripoff given that they're priced like DVDs.
  • by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @05:23AM (#17205378) Journal
    Anyday. Don't think for a minute that since Sony got nailed that this crap is off the plate. The vendor that enabled Sony's scheme certainly had to have more than 1 client involved, or at least it'd be a safe bet. What isn't a safe bet is exposing my various CPUs that I depend on for income to the ilk that "might" still be out there. It's not a fact as much as a hunch. To me the Sony debacle seems to me to be a case of "the one that got caught".

    At that point, I pretty much went with iTunes 100 percent for my purchases, and audiophilism be damned - it's decent enough for my ears (lord knows why AAC has it all over Mp3s - is it the master tapes Apple touts? - I'd love to know).
  • Re:iTunes 7.0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @05:24AM (#17205386)
    I've never used iTunes 7.0 for downloading music, but I use it for managing podcasts. That functionality was seriously broken until 7.02 (frequent occurences included downloads hung forever, stuck video, 100% CPU) and even without bugs lacks any easy way to manage subscriptions. This was a surprise to me since Apple software usually works properly.

    Concerning iTMS, my theory is that CDs are so cheap (or rather iTMS et al are so expensive) that there is little incentive for people to download songs. $9.99 for an album really is a scam when often it is on Amazon on CD for $9.99 and sometimes less. It's easier to buy and rip the CD. A CD that you then own forever.

  • The 99c Challenge (Score:2, Insightful)

    by malf-uk (456583) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @05:47AM (#17205520)
    Two years ago blanket license advocate Jim Griffin predicted that 99 cents per song was "both too high and too low". "It's too low to pay for the burden of a developing artist, and it's too high to fill an iPod," he predicted It would fill up quicker @ 99c per track if they switched to Apple Lossless
  • by nalfeshnee (263742) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:17AM (#17205706) Homepage
    I have a nasty suspicion that a *lot* of people are technically ignorant to the extent that they believe buying it on iTunes is the only option to get it on to their iPod -- or that it is, in fact, faster.

    In fact, building on your point about "hunting CDs down", I'd have to say that given the scenario where you want one favourite track of an old CD, and you know the CD is down in a box in a cellar, and you can't wait and you must have your music now (because you are a true child of the modern world and listening to music all the time wherever you are is a god-given right), then downloading that one track off iTunes is almost certainly faster than finding that CD in the box in the cellar, bringing it upstairs, ripping it .. ah, you get the picture.
  • by owlnation (858981) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:26AM (#17205758)
    It's also worth noting, that especially where the back catalogue is from a time before CDs, 90% of tracks on any vinyl album were filler and B-sides that no-one ever wanted to listen to, but had to because they were on the album.

    There are dozens if not hundreds of bands where I like one song and one song only. Now it's possible to get just that one song and not pay for crap I will never listen to. The records companies are now reaping their just rewards for bad seeds they sewed 30 or 40 years ago.

    The time for record companies to die is overdue. Please only buy music second hand, or directly from the artists.
  • by Shihar (153932) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @06:47AM (#17205854)
    I wont speculate on iTunes sales as the method the data was collected was sketchy. I will say that there are three reasons I see why their sales might be dropping other then just seasonal variation.

    Vendor Lock / DRM:
    Why on earth would I pay hard earned money for a music format that locks me into a single vendor? iPods are spiffy and all, but your music collection becomes junk if you change to a non-Apple MP3 player. Yes, there are ways around this, but none of them are simple and easy lossless conversions. People are starting to see new MP3 players come out to compete with the iPod. Perhaps they are taking a second look at their music collections and asking if they want to be tied at the hip to Apple?

    Pricing Scheme:
    Other online music services offer alternative pricing schemes that might be eating into Apple's business. Rhapsody has an 'all you can eat' service for $15 / month. The music dies if you stop paying, but until then you get to pick from millions of song for the price of one over priced CD a month. For people who want to explore lots of music cheaply and don't feel an overwhelming urge to collect and horde music, this is a steal. iTunes offers nothing to 'explorers' who don't want to break the bank. Download every song written by the Ramones on a whim with Rhapsody and you pay the same subscription fee you always pay and think nothing of it. Do the same on iTunes and you are out $150 and just made a major purchase. iTune's pricing plan works for some, but not all. Their inflexibility to alternative pricing models might be costing them people that are looking for something other then a .AAC collection at 1$ a hit.

    The Long Tail:
    I would be utterly not surprised to learn that online shoppers are go for back order items rather then Top 40 songs then 'normal' music consumers. If this is the case, then iTunes has a problem. Online shoppers are probably consuming back order items faster then new back order items (that people actually want) are created. If I decide that I just love 1990's Ska, at some point I am going to download all of the good 90's ska that there is. Top 40 is not going to make any new songs to replace this, so I will simply stop downloading. Consumers might be 'filling up' on the back order songs that they wanted and not finding anything new to continue consuming.
  • CDs have "been around" since 1982 yes but they weren't the primary means for most people until well into the 90s. It's only in the last decade that your average family car has been a CD instead of casette, the arse end of a lot of ranges STILL have tape players.

    Hell, I'm 26 and I've rebought a reasonable amount of stuff on CD or downloaded it that I have in tape only form. I wasn't CD only until I went to university in 1998.
  • by Peter Cooper (660482) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:13AM (#17205976) Homepage Journal
    1) Videos do not burn as audio. I bought the new Jay Z album. For some reason the main single "Show Me What You Got" came as a video only. Fine, I thought, "something for nothing!" .. Well, no, it turns out iTunes isn't smart enough to burn videos to audio CDs as just audio. So I can't burn the album to CD to play in the car. I had to buy the track AGAIN in audio format. I complained to Apple and they gave me a credit, but it still sucks, since I had to buy a radio edit instead of the album version (which is video only).

    2) Woefully poor video quality. The quality of videos on the iTunes Music Store is atrocious. Even the average rip distributed illegally will be streets ahead. It's just like YouTube in terms of sound quality.. it's not even up to 128kbps AAC standards.

    3) CDs cost the same. I don't know about the US, but I can buy an audio CD for the same price as an album on iTunes. iTunes is more convenient for singles, but I think most people over a certain age buy albums instead.

    4) Convenience costs. You might get some convenience with the instant downloads, which I totally love, but it's at the cost of all the above.. AND the fact sound quality is worse than CD.

    AllOfMP3 was one of the best things to exist and would have even been popular with a pricing scheme fair to artists and the labels.. but no, anyone who does something in a customer friendly way these days is bound to be shot down by the cartels.
  • by Zuato (1024033) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:27AM (#17206042)
    So this research takes into consideration credit cards only...what about the hundreds of pre-paid iTunes cards sold each week? If they aren't tracking that, then how can they just declare that sales are collapsing?
  • Re:Front Row (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MojoStan (776183) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @07:44AM (#17206096)
    I use a Mac-Mini as a media center along with an Elgato tuner and it works brilliantly but only because Elgato tacked a home made extension onto Front Row for their TV tuner which is a good thing since the remote Elgato ships with their tuners is (in my experience at least) complete crap. How hard can it be for Apple to create an API for TV tuner manufacturers like Elgato to use to integrate their products into Front Row? Still, it's cool to be able to control a DVD player, music jukebox, photo slideshow viewer, movie player and a TV tuner complete with recorder using a 6 button Front Row remote.
    I agree that the Apple Remote is an elegant implementation for Front Row's music, photos, videos, and DVD functions. However, I cannot see how those six buttons can be adequate for controlling dvr and tv tuner functions.

    Even basic cable gives us too many channels to fit on a few "program guide" pages. To navigate those pages, wouldn't it be nicer to have PgUp/PgDn buttons like all modern tv remotes have? Heck, wouldn't it be nicer to have telephone-style number/text buttons to directly enter channel numbers and enter text for program searches? How about a simple "record" button to record what you're currently watching?

    I haven't used the Apple remote to control dvr and tv tuner functions, so maybe Apple has done something very clever to make it simple. However, I'm pretty sure more buttons would make it simpler to contrl tv/dvr functions.

  • by JasonKChapman (842766) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @08:15AM (#17206266) Homepage
    When there was only the iPod as a really good portable player, iTunes was the only game in town.

    Either you're rewriting history a little bit, or you're using a very different definition of really good than I would. The iPod was a relative latecomer to the digital audio player market, and to someone like me, who fancies himself something of an audiophile, it's still not really good. At most, Apple pedestrianized the DAP, introducing the concept to people outside of the techie and audiophile markets that already existed. It supports limited formats, has a lame, non-parametric equalizer, and a poor final stage.

    What it does have is gorgeous styling, a comfortable UI, and a brilliantly smooth end-to-end player-to-software-to-store arrangement. To me, that makes it a popular portable player, not necessarily a really good one.

  • by moracity (925736) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @08:50AM (#17206422)
    Why should Apple make their products more affordable to YOU when there are plenty of other people willing to pay the current price? Maybe you need to pay more attention in your college economics class? Maybe then you will actually graduate and get a job that pays you well enough to afford one. Clearly, Apple does not provide a product that suites your particular needs, so get over it.

    As a friend of several independent aritists that distribute via iTMS, I can tell you that before iTMS, they could not make any money or get wide distribution of their music. Most independent artists don't have the money to distribute their music. While iTMS doesn't provide much in the way of revenue, it is a major distribution channel for them.
  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:13AM (#17206566) Homepage
    I'm not sure why that would cause sales to drop. You have the option of ignoring the TV shows and movies and still buying music, same as before.
  • by punkr0x (945364) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:36AM (#17206736)
    FTFA: "the ability to obtain pirated music is now so widespread the DRM looks to consumers more like a problem than a benefit."

    I must have missed a meeting. What benefits does DRM provide to the consumer?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:48AM (#17206872)
    This report is apparently from Forester and Ars Technica have a savage review http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2006/12/ 11/6249 [arstechnica.com] of it.

    Briefly, Forester just do a simple average of songs-sold-this-year against ipods-ever-sold and come up with 22 songs per iPod this year versus 20 songs per iPod last year.

    Two problems:

    1. that's actually a 10% increase, not a "collapse"
    2. "ipods-ever-sold" loosely means the entire installed base assuming no breakages or
            upgrades (we all know iPods break, and lots of people upgrade them), so the increase
            per customer is probably greater.

    So what does it all mean?

    * averages are deceptive, especially in maturing markets
    * iTunes growth appears to be slowing (or maybe not growing at the same rate as iPod sales)
    * customers have other sources of music to rip (CD's for example), and maybe Apple doesn't care that much - they're still selling hardware

    ie. not a collapse.
  • by Paradise Pete (33184) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @09:58AM (#17206958) Journal
    I think a big part of it is that many users have now been around long enough to have gone through an upgrade cycle - New iPods, new computer, and now they're got to deauthorize, reauthorize, move stuff, and the only part that troublesome are the songs they bought on iTunes. And so they feel like a chump, and they get the feeling that their "purchase" is not quite as permanent as they thought, and the biggest visible difference between a ripped song and a purchased one is that the purchased one is inferior.

    When customers feel like a chump for giving you money they tend to stop doing it. Feeling like a fool far outweighs "doing the right thing." It's time for DRM to go.

  • by sloth jr (88200) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:05AM (#17207026)
    ... gotta figure that, overall, most accounts on iTunes have been around for a bit, and after one buys the music they're after - why would they keep buying? I've got the music I wanted, I haven't discovered anything compelling enough for me to shill out more.
  • by audacity242 (324061) <audacity242@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:36AM (#17207466) Homepage
    The movies on iTunes isn't such a bad idea, IF the iPods were really capable of playing them all the way through on battery power. When I received my iPod for Christmas last year, I was initially excited, it meant that on plane trips, I could watch a movie of my choosing, without shilling out for an expensive and space-consuming DVD player. But then I saw that the maximum battery life for video playback was 2 hours. So in reality, it's likely less, which means no movies on those long trips unless I wanted to buy an expensive accessory.
  • Supply and Demand (Score:3, Insightful)

    by C_Kode (102755) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:59AM (#17207792) Journal
    If nobody owns the music they want, they buy it. Once most people have the songs they want, sales will tale off. It's not like nobody knew this was coming... The incredible growth rate of PC sales slowed and now companies like Dell are feeling the effect too.

    For companies that sale popular products, saturation is a bitch.
  • by GeckoX (259575) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @10:59AM (#17207798)
    No, for the most part, new music is crap. (I'm talking mainstream here)

    Who's touring these days? Just about every single one of the bands your parents grew up with that have enough members still alive and able to hold a guitar...not much else.

    Who's putting out albums? Well, those 'retro' bands again for one. And the contrived band-in-a-box crap. And a million and one bands that consist of a 'pretty' face, cookie cutter songs, and not a single real instrument in sight.

    Yes, as always, there are exceptions to the rule. But the mainstream music industry is absolutely and without a doubt WAYYYY out in left field these days.

  • by tgibbs (83782) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:01AM (#17207812)
    I would like to see a mac mini with TiVo-killer hardware and software, but I doubt it will exist as long as Apple is selling TV shows in their store.


    Right. That would be as crazy as giving iTunes the ability to rip DRM-free music from CDs.
  • Re:Front Row (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Otter Escaping North (945051) <otter DOT escapi ... AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:13AM (#17208002) Journal

    I agree that the Apple Remote is an elegant implementation for Front Row's music, photos, videos, and DVD functions. However, I cannot see how those six buttons can be adequate for controlling dvr and tv tuner functions.

    Spot on. I have a Mac mini. Loves my mini. Loves Front Row. Loves my remote. But I have about 2,500 songs, 50 movies, and in excess of 5,000 photos all wired in.

    My kingdom for a PgUp/PgDn.

  • by hexix (9514) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:15AM (#17208028) Homepage
    Yes, if only they would have stuck with those slower more innovative chips. That's the ticket.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @11:25AM (#17208182)
    Actually, just to reply to myself, Forester is even more deceptive.

    First some more or less real numbers, accepting Foresters own methods of
    using the installed base

                                      iPod sales iTunes sales
    Nov 2005 30M 20 per cust 600M
    Nov 2006 68M 22 per cust 1496M
    Increase 226 percent 249 percent

    So unit sales on both iPods and iTunes are up iTunes more so.

    What Forester appear to be focussing on is revenues for iTunes, which reading
    between the lines they appear to further narrow down to average transaction
    size falling (3 dollars now). They then compare that unfavourably to the average CD
    price of 14 dollars and contend "no-one is getting rich on $3 transactions"

    O contraire. Apples and oranges. The iTunes sale has a lower fulfilment
    cost for Apple at the retail point, and much lower if you extend all the way
    back into the distribution and supply chain. The bricks-n-morter outfit has
    to pay everyone in that long physical tail.

    So what we have is more frequent, but smaller size iTunes transactions - exactly
    what that new-fangled digital economy is supposed to deliver.

    I don't think Forester know what they're talking about quite frankly.

  • by Moofie (22272) <lee.ringofsaturn@com> on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @02:16PM (#17211138) Homepage
    "I think you know what I mean,"

    No, not really, I don't.

    "and I don't want to have the particular discussion that could easily ensue here."

    OK. Guess I won't waste your time.

    Me? I think anything an artist wants to use to make art is just fine. I get to decide whether I like it or not, without making normative statements about the "realness" of their chosen tool and medium.

    There's lots of bad art. I still don't understand what a "not real" musical instrument looks like.
  • Re:RTFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shihar (153932) on Tuesday December 12, 2006 @03:37PM (#17212332)
    No, I am not a real employee and yes I do like the subscription services.

    Let me explain it real quickly why I like subscription services. Right now, I have 3488 tracks from my subscription service on my HD. That is 15.6 GB of music. That would cost me $3488 on iTunes. I have had the service for 10 months and have spent only $150.

    As I said before, subscription isn't for everyone. I personally like to explore music. I don't care about the 'collecting' piece of it. I like to fire up Rhapsody, download a 3 or 4 albums on a whim because I heard one song or it was recommended, and then listen to them at my leisure. The Ramones example is a good one for me. One day I felt like listening to the Ramones, downloaded everything that I could, listened to it for a couple of weeks, then got bored and moved onto something new without looking back. I probably have not listened to any Ramones that I have downloaded in a few months and have been off merrily downloading like a nut jazz and old school Jamaican ska. That is how I prefer to explore music. I like to work on a whim, not bothering to waste time 'researching' a band beforehand, and simply listen and judge them based upon a first hand experience. I don't have any desire to "collect" music simply because, as with my Ramones collection, I am likely to not want to listen to it in a year. The stuff I listened to 5 years ago when I broke up with an ex makes me sick with disgust now. I still have those CDs somewhere, but what good do that do me if I don't listen to them?

    I agree that a subscription style makes no sense for some people. If given unlimited downloads you still download less then $15 / month worth of music, of course you should not bother with a subscription service. If on the other hand you average the $300 a month that I do and you are not wed to a single style or taste in music that is consistent, the a subscription service makes perfect sense. Clearly, it isn't for everyone. On the other hand, it is pretty clear that it absolutely works great for some people.

    I simply like the option to have a subscription service. No one is twisting your arm to use it. In Rhapsody you can pay the same price as iTunes and rip and backup just like iTunes. The difference is that with Rhapsody I at least have the option of a subscription service.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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