iTunes Proves DRM is Killing Music

Sensation headlines are great, El Reg’s mocking coverage is even better and Forrester Research is the best (for sensation headlines anyway). The Register is running a story with the somewhat overstated headline “iTunes Sales Collapsing“, based on some research put out by Forrester that seems to show that iTunes music is flat or even falling a bit.

While the iTunes service saw healthy growth for much of the period, since January the monthly revenue has fallen by 65 per cent, with the average transaction size falling 17 per cent. The previous spring’s rebound wasn’t repeated this year.

And it isn’t just Apple’s problem. Nielsen Soundscan has grimmer news for prospective digital download services, indicating three consecutive quarters of flat or declining revenues for the sector as a whole.

The article goes on to point out that despite the fall in iTunes sales iPod player shipments are way up.

The ominous trend comes despite healthy growth for digital music players – iPod sales quadrupled in the period monitored by Forrester – and Apple’s growing inventory – the company has added videos and movies to its established inventory of music downloads and audiobooks.

Of course if your a regular reader of this blog you already knew this. Apprently fewer and rfewer people are being sucked into buying the DRM crippled songs on iTunes for .99 cents a pop, but folks are still flocking to the iPods. The good folks at the Reg pin the blame for iTunes stumbling on Apple’s use of DRM in the music store. Andrew Orlowski goes so far as to say that we have entered the “final days” of DRM’d music.

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