iTunes Sings About 5 Billion Songs
Sometimes comments are made at inauspicious times. Just a day after KISS bassist Gene Simmons declared that the music industry is dead and fans had killed it, Apple announced iTunes reached the 5 billion song download mark.
That’s 5 billion legally purchased downloads. The company is also proud to announce along with that milestone, iTunes customers are renting or purchasing around 50,000 movies per day, making the virtual media store the most popular online movie destination.
At 99 cents per downloaded song, that’s easy math, and an easy $5 billion shared among the music industry and Apple. Simmons may wish he’d seen those numbers before spouting off with this priceless quip:
"The record industry is dead. It’s six feet underground and unfortunately the fans have done this. They’ve decided to download and file share. There is no record industry around so we’re going to wait until everybody settles down and becomes civilized. As soon as the record industry pops its head up we’ll record new material."
After what happened in the Nineties, you sure that’s a good idea, Gene? As old as you are, it might not be wise to try to put the "P" in MP3.
Despite how high on music lovers’ lists new KISS material is*, Apple has proven the dollar per song model is a winner. With the current numbers, Apple is officially the largest music retailer in the US. When iTunes was still on the rise, Apple CEO Steve Jobs denied recording industry executives demands to raise prices to an inexplicable $2.99 or $3.99 per song, despite not having the costs of physical CDs and lower distribution costs.
Prices like that would have killed iTunes along with the recording industry.
Here’s the hard truth: If the recording industry’s really dead, it killed itself with greed.
*Somehow I think we’ll survive without it. Imagine the consequences if every famous band or artist suddenly bowed out until fans stopped downloading. What would happen? Simple: New great bands we’ve never heard of step up to fill their shoes and are, surprisingly, big fans of downloading.