Why Is iTunes Tanking?
Since January 2006, the number of monthly iTunes transactions has declined 58 percent, while the average size per purchase declined by 17 percent, leading to a 65-percent overall drop in monthly iTunes revenue, U.S. market research group Forrester said in a survey among North American consumers.
Wow. I can't speak for everyone, but I can say that those numbers pretty accurately reflect my own iTunes usage. In the first two years that I used the Music Store I purchased regularly. What's a dollar here and there--especially for one-off singles you haven't heard for years? In 2006, though, I've actually spent more on iTunes this month than I did the rest of the year combined. Here are my reasons--and I'm betting I'm not the only one with these reasons:
1. I don't like most of the new stuff out there right now, and I've already bought most of the old stuff that I wanted to hear again.
2. I don't like the fact that the albums don't come with liner notes. I had written to Apple several times about this, because it was becoming a big disincentive for me when purchasing online. I'm not even in the music business, but I love liner notes. I have noticed that Apple Music Store has begun packaging .pdf "booklets" with select titles. That may be too little, too late.
3. Podcasts are free and they're more entertaining, by and large. The bulk of my Music Store time lately has been spent downloading podcasts. To me, the growing popularity of free podcasts has put a huge dent in my Music Store shopping. Before I'd browse the offerings and maybe drop a buck or two on some tunes. Now I can browse AND download the same venue without spending any money.
I don't have all the answers. I do think, though, that these falling numbers are a definite warning shot for Apple AND the Music Industry.