iTunes Radio has never made downloading a more seamlessly integrated or impulsive experience. So why isn’t anyone buying?
Overall, track downloads in the US are steadily sinking, and this graph shows that iTunes Radio is doing nothing to stop it. In fact, iTunes Radio could be making it worse: according to Nielsen Soundscan data shared by a major label executive, paid download sales (ie, ‘singles’) slumped to 19.5 million units for the week ending December 6th, nearly 6 percent below the same point last year.
But that is also down more than 11 percent since iTunes Radio debuted on September 18th. On the flip side, digital album purchase are up 11 percent on the year, though aggregated single and album downloads are down nearly 4.5 percent. A very substantial percentage of all song downloads happen through iTunes, with some estimates pushing higher than 80 percent.