Sunday, September 20, 2009

Apple's Future in Online Music

Apple, the largest music distributor in the world, seems to be shifting its focus away from music and into the direction of iPhone apps. Experts worry that with this new strategy, Apple may begin to cut back on new ideas for iTunes. The company hopes to increase interest and stability by potentially marketing their products to a larger audience with their apps, but the power of iTunes will not likely be taken over by this new trend.

This issue leads to another interesting topic of discussion- the effect of alternative services on the music industry. While free music services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, and iLike has proven to encourage their users to actually purchase music, there have been doubts concerning their impact on music sales. The suggestion is that rather than causing users to purchase music or concert tickets, they simply create purchases that would have occurred with or without the programs.

With this information, the importance of iTunes in today's music market becomes much more evident. The possibility that iTunes could lose attention from Apple is a scary one considering that no other music service comes close to offering as many opportunities to artists and customers. Sure, if iTunes lost users to other services, online music would still continue to flourish, but how would the landscape of free vs. purchased change? From a marketing perspective, we should hope that Apple continues to focus on new ideas and strategies for its iTunes product. This software is an incredible tool for artists, and its constant debuting of new features keeps it in place as the online music giant that it is. Losing iTunes is losing the largest music purchasing platform in the world, and while it does not appear that we are too far into that danger zone, we should hope that Apple does not abandon the creative possibilities that lie in the soul of iTunes.

I referenced these articles in writing this blog post:

-Bill Ross


  1. i think itunes is safe. even though apps are a huge thing right now with iphones and itouches, i think music will always be available on itunes. Just because ipod sales are flattening out, doesnt mean apple will stop selling music. They make a ton of money off selling songs and albums. Since everyone and their mother's brother's sister has an ipod, sales arent going to increase. Ipods last a while, so unless you need more space for your music, videos, pictures, or apps, theres not as much of a demand for new ones. Apps are a huge focus right now because they are a buzz right now. Also, the music industry could tap into the apps as well. Daft punk has an app that is a soundboard featuring parts of a song. tap tap revenge (similar to guitar hero) features music from popular artists to be played by the consumers of this app.


  2. I agree with Laurel on this subject, I highly doubt they would abandon iTunes completely. iTunes and the iPod have driven the company to new markets and made them a very prominent competitor in various markets.
    I remember reading an article years ago, probably back in 2005 or 2004 about how many iPods and music tracks were being sold per second. That was back then and this is now, so I can only imagine that those statistics have increased greatly. I may try to find that article and post it here at a later time.
    Back to the topic though, I don't think we have anything to worry about with iTunes. Apple may be looking into increasing their foothold on certain markets, but I cannot see them letting their grip loosen on the online music downloads market. For a company that was predicted to fail a little over ten years ago, I think that Apple has come a long way since introducing several of these (now familiar) products.

    - Derek