Zune Traffic Roars, iTunes Yawns

Zune jumps but still can't dunk

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[ Technology]

Microsoft’s Zune 80 proved a big hit among holiday shoppers, and that demand translated into a massive increase in the traffic Zune.net normally receives.

On Christmas Day, people opened their new Zunes and them promptly opened a connection to Zune.net, Microsoft’s online home for the media player.

That traffic added up fast. Analysis firm Hitwise said the Zune fervor resulted in huge jumps in visits to Zune.net.

Compared to Christmas Day in 2006, Hitwise said Zune traffic rose 299 percent, nearly quadruple for the day year-over-year. From Christmas Eve to Christmas Day, Zune.net visits leaped by 392 percent.

As a certain big-screen movie villain might say, “Impressive. Most impressive.” But the numbers for Zune only tell part of the story. While these are nice results for Microsoft, they pale in comparison to Apple’s iTunes marketplace.

“iTunes remained the predominant download site with a market share over 6 times larger than Zune.net,” Hitwise said in its statement. “The total market share of visits for Zune.net reached 0.09 percent on Christmas Day, as opposed to the market share of visits to iTunes which reached 0.68 percent.”

Zune Traffic Roars, iTunes Yawns
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  • Rob Greenlee


    To clarify on some of the points made in your post. iTunes is a software application and Zune.net is a website. To compare the two is incorrect. If you want to compare the two you need to compare iTunes and the Zune Marketplace, which are both software applications that work with the media players.

    Zune.net is different then Apple.com, because Zune.net actually has built content into its website that link music and podcast content to actual music purchasing and podcast subscriptions inside the Zune Marketplace software. The other thing that Zune.net has that Apple.com does not have is an online social network around the Zune Social feature and Zune Forum.

  • http://www.zunerama.com Harvey

    I’m surprised at the statement that iTunes is “6 times larger than Zune.net” as a download site.

    I would think that iTunes traffic levels would be far higher than that, given how well established it is and how many more iPods there are than Zune players.

    What probably drove Zune.net traffic so high on Christmas day:

    – Most people who receives Zunes for Christmas would not have Zune software installed, so they would go to Zune.net to download the software. (Whereas, people who received iPods are more likely to already have iTunes installed.)

    – Zune owners may be more likely to go online to get their content, because of the Zune Pass subscription offering. iPod owners may be more likely to start using their iPods with their current collection of CD-ripped music.

    – Zune owners may be more likely to go to Zune.net because of the Zune Social community. There’s no corresponding community site for iPod owners.

    Those might help explain why Zune traffic is so high this holiday season. Still, pretty impressive numbers for Zune’s Year 2.

    – Harvey Chute
    Editor, Zunerama

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