More on iTunes sales
TUAW links to the Macalope’s previous post and says:
Of course, The Macalope asks ‘who cares?’ to all this worry of how the iTS is doing, but Geoff Duncan at Digital Trends reminds us of some interesting potential shifts in the digital distribution model that could depend directly on how well present offerings fair.
The Macalope did address that issue by noting that the recording industry could come up with something more heinous than DRM. Duncan’s piece is mostly a summary of some pieces done by the Register’s Andrew Orlowski. The Macalope wouldn’t call Orlowski biased, but he’s clearly got his ideas of how this is all gonna go down and — while he eventually may be proved correct — he’s lost some objectivity in his trumpting of Forrester’s research.
Of Forrester’s numbers Orlowski writes:
The figures don’t include gifts redeemed via the iTunes Store. While Apple can argue this does not reflect the volume of transactions taking place, it gives a more accurate picture of what customers are actually prepared to pay for.
Uh, right. That’s like saying anything bought at the Gap as a present shouldn’t count in their sales figures because the person who receives it didn’t make the purchase and may not have wanted it. Note to Orlowski, if a gift card comes from the iTunes Store, it’s something customers are actually prepared to pay for. The gift card purchaser is the customer, not the person who downloads the songs.
Now, no one but Apple knows if gift card sales are enough to make iTunes sales figures all sunshine and puppies, but pretending they somehow don’t count is simply engaging in argumentative assery.
Still, there is substantial evidence that the recording companies have lost that loving feeling for DRM. And if they’ve decided that DRM is a failure — both in keeping people from illegaly copying music and putting them in a position of strength when negotiating with technology companies — they will start seeking other ways to extract their pound of flesh.
One way is a “tax” on the devices and the other is a “tax” on the Internet.
The Macalope supposes just paying for DRM-free music directly is out of the question.