iTunes Radio, right on cue as streaming dollars replace download dollars

By , Jul 19, 2013

iTunes Radio (teaser, iPod touch, iPad, MacBook Air, Apple TV)

You don’t get anywhere in consumer tech by being tone-deaf to trends. Apple’s decision to get into digital music downloads just as sales of CDs slowed is just an example. Now comes evidence the iTunes Music Store owner is on the leading edge of the latest trend to hit: streaming replacing music downloads.

Apple’s upcoming ad-supported iTunes Radio will appear as the number of digital songs sold have been slowing for some time while the number of tunes being streamed across the Internet is skyrocketing lately. Through the first half of 2013, 682 million digital songs were sold, a 2.3 percent drop from the 698 million in 2012.

By comparison, the number of songs streamed has risen 24 percent, according to industry watchers…

According to the Nielsen Entertainment and Billboard’s 2013 Mid-Year Music Industry Report, the disparity between how many of the Top 10 songs were downloaded versus streamed is clear. For instance, the number one digital song purchased was download more than 5.5 million times. However, the same song was streamed nearly 188 million times.

By the way, Nielsen is undercounting streaming usage because Pandora – which streams more than a billion hours of audio a month – isn’t included in its totals. And Warner Music Group last August said streaming accounted for 25 percent of its music revenue.

apple-streaming-top10Although Pandora and others have been in the streaming business for years, it takes a whale like Apple to make a significant splash.

Apple’s iTunes Radio is scheduled to be released in the U.S. this fall along with iOS 7. However, hoping to steal some of the thunder, Google beat Apple by pre-emptively launching its own streaming music play with the $9.99 a month Google Play All Music Access service.

It appears Apple has learned its lesson from the bruising battle with music industry execs and song publishers.

The Cupertino, California company already has said it will pay studios higher royalties than what’s available from Pandora.

The switch from agressor to appeaser appears seemingly is being adopted in other Apple media efforts, including a long-rumored push into the living room.

As we wrote earlier this week, Apple is looking to support Time Warner Cable and other video distributors with Apple TV apps.

In exchange, the company hopes its efforts to prop up the cable industry will be rewarded by friendly negotiations when it comes time to secure rights for video content.

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  • Jimothy

    I’ve used iTunes Radio. I still like Pandora a lot more. Of course, iTunes Radio is still beta.

    • Gorgonphone

      iTunes radio as it is in iTunes now and Pandora do different things.. 9but apple is getting ready to make a pandora like service.. all i want is the current iTunes running n my iPhone and iPad..

      • Rowan09

        I don’t have IOS 7 and I would like to know the difference?

      • Jimothy

        iTunes Radio is just a streaming service. It’s GUI looks just like the music.app, only in the top right corner there is an option to buy the song in iTunes. I got an odd amount of skips though. Like 7.
        Edit: forgot to mention that I haven’t came to a listening limit yet.

      • Jimothy

        I mean they use the same amount of data so unless there is no listening limit on iTunes Radio, I’m sticking to pandora.

      • Rowan09

        Pandora has a listening limit my cousin actually reached his limit for the month as I didn’t know that even existed. Hey it doesn’t hurt having choices, I use both Spotify and Pandora.

  • Dante Arellano

    I have iOS 7 beta. 3 on i5 it’s just amazing makes looks cydia crappy sorry! About iTunes Radio is just amazing as well I love iOS 7.

    • Matt Taylor

      You’re an idiot!

    • Yunsar

      Yeah, it was totally worth losing my jailbreak! Cydia apps are good (they have good ideas) but they don’t have quality and good design most of the time

      • mehrab

        Exactly

      • quitcherbichinn

        agreed! there was once a huge need to a jailbreak but those reasons are getting less and less important because most of the good tweaks have been incorporated into the stock OS. the JB makes the phone crash and run sluggish..not all the time but there are times. a stock iOS runs really smoothly and reliably. i look forward to iOS 7…i’ll happily give up the JB.

      • Yunsar

        I like it when apple integrates some of the good tweaks to iOS because then they have good quality and design

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        To be honest the only reason for me to jailbreak will be to enable tethering since my carrier is not considered by Apple to be an “official” carrier as they do not sell iPhones and as a result do not have their own carrier files so tethering simply does not work amongst other things such as visual voicemail…

      • quitcherbichinn

        i took my iPhone 5 to straight talk and that’s 1 of the things i lost…that and mms.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        It’s kind of sad really since Tim Cook said he was going to open up iOS a lot more (source: idownloadblog(DOT)com/2013/05/29/cook-on-apple-opening-up-more/)

        A good start for opening up iOS would be to treat all carriers equally and allow them all to use every feature of iOS whether they sell iPhones or not..

      • Julian Gigola

        what carrier are u using? if u don’t mind me asking

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        In the UK as far as I’m aware no carriers other than the one I’m with offer truly unlimited data. The carrier I use is called Giffgaff which I’m not sure of the technical term but think they’re what is known as a reseller carrier which runs their own network but rents their infrastructure off another carrier (in Giffgaffs case O2). I’m not sure why my carrier cannot have access to features such as tethering and visual voicemail but think it all comes down to the fact that Apple couldn’t care less since they don’t sell iPhones (for the record any previous down-voters they don’t sell any phones). With 4G expected to roll out to more places in the UK over the next few years for me it really is essential to be able to tether. Although I love iOS my phone is an iPhone 4S and will be getting replaced as soon as in my area 4G is available. The question is will I be getting another iPhone or something else…

    • mehrab

      I agree

  • Jackson Grong

    Go Macklemore!

  • Biken Dangol

    God Damn , I bought 7 songs recently via Radio.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      I think that’s the whole point isn’t it? Apples radio service isn’t going to replace digital downloads in the sense that Spotify for example replaces the need for digital downloads but rather it will enhance listeners music experiences and introduce them to new music which they can then easily buy from iTunes…