Are iTunes sales dropping?
The Macalope has a better question: who cares?
The Apple web is rife with cries of “woe is Apple” and angry denouncements today over Forrester Research’s report claiming that the only people still buying songs from the iTunes Store are a family of shut-ins in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Forrester’s conclusion is that DRM isn’t working and people are still stealing music as their primary means of acquisition.
That’s not the Macalope’s experience, but for the sake of argument (and because it spares the Macalope from having to do a bunch of math), let’s say Forrester is right and iTunes sales are down 375 million percent or whatever they said.
Let’s look at some things that make this less concerning than you might think:
- Apple doesn’t make money on music sales. They’re used to drive iPod sales.
- iPod sales are still strong.
- iTunes is still by far the most popular online music store.
- Falling sales of DRM-ed music mean the recording industry has to consider non-DRM solutions.
The negatives are:
- The recording industry could come up with something more heinous than DRM.
- Apple will no longer have the “velvet lock” of iTunes DRM that keeps customers in iPods.
But then they’ll just have to keep people buying iPods by keeping them awesome.
So, can we all calm down, please? The Macalope can barely hear his iTunes-purchased Christmas music over all the shouting.