Before we put the boot into iTunes Radio, here are some figures since their September 18th launch through October 22nd, 2013 courtesy of Hypebot: “iTunes Radio users have listened to more than one billion songs, Apple announced today. More than 20 million people have checked out the service. The numbers are particularly impressive given that iTunes Radio is currently only available in the U.S. “
This is fairly impressive stuff.
Given how many people had dubbed the entire venture as desperately out of time with the modern world, these are actually pretty amazing numbers, enough where if I was Spotify and there was the slightest chance of Itunes making a subscription based surface would be enough to put the fear of God in me.
It seems to be Itunes did not come close to a hardsell on their radio, if there was an advertising campaign I didn’t hear of it, whatever launch they made didn’t come close to Iheartradio’s ubiquitous shout out loud. But a billion streams….??? Here is another number to keep in mind. Itunes launched on April 28th, 2003 and sold 100 million songs as of July 11, 2004. It took them 15 months to see 100M, and 1.5 Months to get ten times that many streams.
The difference between streaming and buying music, is not the difference between renting and buying a house, it is the difference between enjoying what you own when you’re alive and losing it when you die and believing you are gonna take it with you.
In the mid-1990s I lost 5,000 albums, my entire vinyl record collection, to a flood, access matters to me but ownership certainly does not. We don’t own things, it is the nature of the limitations of living and then dying that we simply don’t have ownership rights on anything. Once you get use to the concept of renting instead of owning, owning is strange. Why do we need to OWN music when we have access to music whenever we want it?
The surprise isn’t how radio and streaming are mixing like EDM and Hip Hop did three years ago, but that Itunes radio managed to become a player with such a small amount of effort.
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