iTunes Song Downloads, 2003-2013…

It’s funny, because for a moment there I thought you said ‘download cannibalization‘…


And these are just the paid ones.  According to IFPI stats, paid downloads traditionally represent about 1/20th of broader downloads (the rest being illegally obtained). Which means there at least half-a-trillion downloads waiting for or entering a cloud-enabled reincarnation – on iTunes Match, Amazon Cloud Drive, or Google Play.

The dataset is here.


Written while listening to Fedde Le Grand. 

14 Responses

    • Visitor

      “Spotify is now #2”

      Like Napoleon at Waterloo. 🙂

      Quite a pathetic number 2, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

      This shows that Spotify is absolutely worthless to artists, compared to iTunes.

  1. Spotity royalties payment
    Spotity royalties payment

    Here’s spotify royalties payment to the right holders (denoted by Cost of Sales)

    2008: 409,753 pounds

    2009: 18,823,093 pounds

    2010: 64,801,478 pounds

    2011: ?

    2012: ?

    2013: projected to be 500 million USD

    Source: Spotify annual financial statements

  2. Visitor

    “paid downloads traditionally represent about 1/20th of broader downloads (the rest being illegally obtained)”

    Which is why suing pirates is such an attractive option!

    A clear majority of the population want to punish illegal downloaders. Moderate fines — such as $100 per infringement — is the preferred measure.

    Think about it:

    500,000,000,000 x $100 waiting out there… 🙂

  3. more downloads
    more downloads

    the upward curve is due to deeper adoption of ipods/iphones. in 2006 the number of people who had iphones (or only one ipod, say) vs now is significant — everyone has one, including 12 year olds, 65 year olds, etc. not the case even 5 years ago.

    i’d like to see a chart that also shows illegal d’loading for same years. my guess it would have the same arc, so the whole idea of saying “look, paid downloads are increasing, so illegal d’loads and streaming and youtube must have actually helped paid downloads” argument seems a little specious.

  4. ha ha`
    ha ha`

    Also don’t forget… as it became cheaper/easier to upload to iTunes via services or directly…and as entry level music “producing” programs got cheaper, everyone releasing an ‘album’ every week, a song every week…. each of those artists probably bought their own craptastic album/song a few times. so that’s gotta account for 20 billion.


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