More lies, damned lies, and statistics from Forrester Research.
The latest news says iTunes Store sales have experienced a collapse. How much? Over half since January 2006. What happened?
The last we heard from Apple was that music sales at the iTunes Store topped 1.5-billion downloads at about 99-cents each.
The iTunes Store is not yet four years old and the sales trend, like the iPod, has been ever upward. So what’s with Forrester’s research?
The company tracked credit card transactions for over two years and determined that not only has iTunes Store sales stalled, they’ve actually dropped by 65-percent.
Here’s where we get to see the lies, damned lies, and statistics. Without firm, accurate numbers from Apple, Forresters resorts to, well, guessing. They make up their numbers.
The problem appears to lie with averages. Forrester admits that, on average, each iPod owner has purchased 22 songs from the iTunes Store. A year ago the number was 20 songs per iPod.
This year there are more iPods, and, guess what? More songs sold, on average.
Another problem that should be obvious, but isn’t, at least to the researchers, is the household average. By tracking credit card numbers and tying purchases to households, then dividing such numbers by iPods, Forrester falls victim to their own methods.
For example, three years ago, our family had one iPod. Then we added another. Then another. Gave one away, then purchased two more. That’s a total of four iPods across two family Macs, one household, one credit card purchase for songs from the iTunes Store.
From that perspective, iPod sales increased, but on average, per iPod, iTunes Store sales per iPod decreased (most music on Mincey household iPods are ripped from CDs, by about 5 to 1 over iTunes Store purchases—none are pirated).
Let’s see what Apple has to say about all this at Macworld 2007. How about you? Do you purchase music from the iTunes Store? How much? What’s the average per iPod you own? What’s the percentage of music from CDs? Do you pirate music for your iPod?