App Downloads vs. Music Downloads, 2005-2013…

You can say that subscription is killing the download.  But maybe that’s just another vast oversimplification.

(data compiled by Asymco)

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Written while listening to Mötley Crüe.

13 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    How about an article about Spotify’s new merch options please? You shouldn’t just report negative news about a service.

    • oh no he didn't...

      soooooo how many of those downloaded apps are purchased? it seems to me the majority of app downloads are FREE APPS…

  2. Anonymous

    Always-connected devices with Youtube preinstalled and fully functional for free are killing the music download.

  3. Bryce

    Question for clarification: Is this showing downloads of the iTunes app or downloads of apps via iTunes?

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Apps, in general, not the iTunes App specifically (which is already embedded in Macs, iPads, iPhones, etc.)

  4. Anonymous

    There is also far less apps then music tracks. But apps are a lot harder to make.

  5. Spoken X Digital Media Group

    The application itself is the future of digital convergence between the internet and the daily living environment: Home , office,cars,boats and airlines. At the end of the day music downloads and apps really cannot be distinguished one from the other. . .

  6. jw

    “App units downloaded” is pretty vague. That huge spike in app downloads could be everyone with an iPhone downloading iOS 7 (June) & everyone with a Mac downloading OSX 10.9 (October). Both were free downloads to all users.

    If that’s the case, it changes the narrative dramatically. Could we get clarification on that, Paul?

    • Paul Resnikoff

      OS = Operating System, which is not an app.

      Written while listening to Elton John.

      • Me

        How many of these are the free FaceBook app, or the free Instagram app, or the free Words With Friends app, etc?

        • jw

          Probably a lot, but the bro @ Asymco who wrote the original article makes a great point about why that doesn’t matter. At this point, the battle isn’t necessarily for consumers’ dollars, but for their time. If they spend less time listening to music, they spend less time purchasing music. And so a consumer buying, for instance, buying a $5.99 deluxe calculator app isn’t necessarily going to affect how many songs are being purchased, but a consumer spending all of their free time on instagram or playing some addictive game on their phone is going to cut into music spending.

          This has been an issue for a while now & is only recently being articulated well. The author posits that former downtime that might’ve been taken up listening to music or doing nothing at all began to be filled with mindless app usage, but as the user becomes increasingly addicted to their apps, this usage might grow into, for instance, replacing what was once tv watching or concentrated listening time.

          It’s worth a read. .

      • jw

        That’s a very specific definition of an app.

        As an OSX user, but not an iOS user, my gut would be to qualify any downloads through the App Store application an app download. Where “apps” used to be something distinct from traditionally packaged “software,” Apple has gone to great lengths to make everything an app, whether it’s a phone calculator or a desktop word processor or even professional production suites. And now even their new operating systems are distributed through the app store, & are listed as the apps are, along with Final Cut & Logic Pro & Aperture.

        I think that the term “app” still has this connotation of Instagram or Angry Birds or whatever, & I’m not sure that’s exactly what Apple means when they say “We had x app downloads this quarter.” I get the impression that they’re including Logic, Final Cut, Pages, Keynote, etc, none of which are in direct competition with music downloads.