updated 01:30 am EDT, Thu July 14, 2011
App downloads have spiked while music stays flat
Even with an almost four-year head start and recent increase in downloads, music sales totals from iTunes have finally been surpassed by app downloads, says Asymco's Horace Dediu. The milestone reflects the incredible popularity of the iOS App Store, which had sales pass the 15 billion mark last week. Apple also reported 15 billion in song sales during the recent WWDC, but began selling songs three years and 10 months earlier.
The sales rate for iTunes popularity increased on a much more gradual slope in its early days, eventually hitting an accelerated pace about three years after launch, hitting three billion songs sold. The iOS App Store, by contrast, rocketed in popularity within its first year and is still increasing its volume, and sold its first three billion apps in only 18 months.
One revelation from Dediu's analysis was that music sales had recently increased. The rate has now increased to around 12 million per month, a 50 percent increase over the last six months, a period which saw new releases from a slew of popular artists such as Lady Gaga. The increased rate can also be partially explained by the ongoing growth of the iPod Touch and iPhone market.
By contrast, however, the app download rate has now hit 31 million per month and is still increasing. In all, Dediu estimates that iTunes is serving over 44 million new downloads per month, including e-books but excluding video content.
Although he admits he though the revenue streams would "cross" at the 13 billion mark -- eight months ago -- Dediu didn't count on the increased music sales and the amount of flucuation in the app side of the business. Overall, he notes, the iTunes stores and in particular the App Store have done "phenomenal" business. [via Asymco]