The Macalope was indisposed yesterday so he was unable to post about Gene Munster and comScore’s retort saying that iTunes sales are doing just fine, thank you very much.


…who’s got egg on their face?

Well, Andrew Orlowski, for starters, as Forrester called the Register out in particular, referring to it as “A UK outfit called The Register”. That’s shorthand for “I’ve never heard of these clowns before and now they’re wearing our research like a party hat and dancing around like Roberto Benigni.”

If you want more amusement, read Orlowski’s response to Forrester’s clarification which should be titled “No takebacks!”

Orlowski’s defense of over-hyping the Forrester numbers? He put “collapse” in quotes.

He then concludes:

It’s a pity today that beseiged by parties who have vested interests, and their own agendas, Forrester wants to downplay the implications of its valuable work – and instead it finds itself doing crisis management on behalf of Apple.

Yes. It’s also a pity that beseiged by the people who actually did the research, someone who jumped to conclusions about it continues to pimp his pet theory.

Orlowski even unironically chides Wall Street “gamblers” for misreading his story. He has yet to respond to Munster and comScore’s report of booming iTunes sales.

Looking for more egg, Nick Carr’s probably kind of wishing he hadn’t jumped on this one so quickly.

The Macalope found his response to a commenter who provided a link to Forrester’s addendum rather amusing.


Forrester has not retracted its study, so I assume it stands by its numbers and analysis, which I believe I reported accurately in this post.

I have to say that I’m really not sure how to interpret the Forrester statement you linked to.


Well, Nick, allow the Macalope to rephrase what Forrester is saying more succintly:

Stop trying to hump our numbers like a horny lap dog.

None of this is to say Forrester’s analysis isn’t problematic. You can read the blog summary and see if you don’t find what the Macalope did — that all the really good analysis is in the comments.

Looking back over the numbers, the Macalope notes that they represent a small sample size and don’t reflect all the ways you could buy stuff from iTunes. It also focuses on the supposed decline in sales over the first six months of 2006.

You know, this sounds awfully familiar. What was that other thing that had falling sales from January to June and some silly pundits were rushing to declare its demise?

Oh, that’s right. It was the iPod.

What a coincidence.

(That’s sarcasm in case you can’t tell.)

Now, the Macalope is giving Orlowski and Carr a hard time, but it’s important to note that ultimately their point that online sales of DRM-ed music is not a panacea for the music industry may be correct. It’s just that now it seems that their highly touted example is actually an exception.

Also, remember…

…who cares about iTunes sales?

ADDENDUM 12/19: Here’s a good post providing some data to back up the Macalope’s oblique assertion about the connection between iPod sales and iTunes downloads.

  • John Muir:

    If the “UK outfit called The Register” doesn’t come clean with a full clarification and retraction of their bone headed and downright jackassed analysis that the iTunes sky is falling, given the criticism of their OWN SOURCE, then they can forget all about being journalists and will have shown themselves for the fingers in their ears fantasists that they all too likely are.

    And this is from a UK commenter who’d like to know why anyone would ever take them more seriously than some anti-iPod kid with a chip on his blog.

  • John Muir:

    If you read The Register for any appreciable period of time, you will probably eventually come to the conclusion that Andrew Orlowski is a blowhard, and that The Register is the equivalent of those tabloids that you see in the checkout lane at the supermarket.

  • Korivak:

    Ah, January though June. The season for paying off all that credit card debt that we all build up now, during the season of buying too many expensive presents. Nothing makes you want to race out and buy lots of nice new Apple products like crippling debt!

    The writers over at The Register should spend some time working in retail before they write another word about quarter to quarter buying trends. You know what happens to people that work in retail in January? They get fired. Especially if they’re stupid and lack common sense.

  • Blain:

    El Reg is not as much news as it is entertainment. Their logo is of a vulture, their motto is, ‘Biting the hand that feeds IT’, and they host Bastard Operator From Hell. They have articles such as:
    Government asked to investigate Christmas music torture: Little Drummer Boy still at large
    Vista plugs piracy hole Avast!
    And, 6 years old, but always a classic: Register Tariff 2001: We’ll do anything for money

    Not just a tabloid, a british tabloid!

  • Pilster:

    Even the good ol’ BBC managed to make an embarassing fluff of the “iTunes sales plumett” bull. On News 24 after the business report regurgitated the Forrester information, one of the news anchors said “well, who wants an iPod anyway. They break down after a year and a half”.
    I rather hope that Apple’s lawyers were tuned in…

  • Dhrakar:

    To me, it all boils down to the fact that Orlowski has _always_ hated business models like iTunes. His favored solution is a mandatory licensing scheme (ala the British TV system). The system would be funded by a surcharge on broadband internet access and would (theoretically) then be distributed to artists/publishers/etc — *ahem*).
    Anyway, Orlowski was waiting for just such a report as he’d hoped this one was so he jumped. He just can’t seem to get past the fact that most folks (like me) really don’t care about the minimal DRM in iTunes. I can play the stuff I bought in it’s protected form on all of my systems (work and home) and I’ve also unripped an album for one of my kids to play in their CD player. So what’s the lock-in again? …

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