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iTunes Rocks Europe

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On June 23, 2004 @ 7:35 am In Music | Comments Disabled

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Apple’s online music service iTunes has reported sales of 800,000 songs since it opened its European store last week, the BBC reported.

Yet another of the many reasons the music industry has been getting shellacked over the past few years has been their obstinate refusal to address this marketplace demand. Kudos to Apple for stepping into the void and giving consumers what they have been demanding.

There’s a lesson here for other industries: When your consumers DEMAND the ability to legally access your product in a different format — lets hypothetically say music in digital form over the internet — if your industry fails to address that demand, they run the risk of losing those consumers to a competitive medium, legal or otherwise. Its an amazing proposition — the provider of such services stands to profit handsomely from answering that demand.

Its the marketplace, stupid.

Here’s an excerpt from BBC News:

“iTunes has proved enormously popular in the US, with about 85 million songs downloaded since its launch in April 2003.

Among the top-selling tunes in the European store’s first week were exclusive tracks from the Pixies, Anastacia, Alicia Keyes and Herbert Gronemeyer.

Ken Goes, manager of the Pixies, said the release by iTunes of their single Bam Thwok’ had boosted sales in four countries. “By distributing our first song in 13 years exclusively on iTunes, we were able to quickly and inexpensively make it available to millions of fans in the US and Europe,” he said.”

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I’m curious: What has the reaction been to the IFPI [1] — the European version of the RIAA [2] — when they filed 200 or so lawsuits against their downloading clients in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands?

Note that even in a positive story, the BBC had to address the US litigation issue:

“The iTunes service means songs can be legally downloaded to a PC, copied to CD and played on a portable iPod. Rivals Napster and OD2 offer a similar deal to customers.

The news came on the same day as the music industry in the US began legal action citing copyright infringement against 482 computer users. The legal action targets suspected online music file-swappers in St Louis, Washington, Denver and New Jersey, the Recording Industry Association of America said.

The group, which represents major recording companies in the US, brought the legal action against defendants known only by their internet protocol addresses. The tactic means internet access providers can be ordered by the court to reveal the names of their customers.”

So sad . . .

Source:
Strong sales for iTunes in Europe [3]
BBC News: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 11:50 UK

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3832201.stm


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URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2004/06/itunes-rocks-europe/

URLs in this post:

[1] IFPI: http://www.ifpi.org/

[2] RIAA: http://www.riaa.com/default.asp

[3] Strong sales for iTunes in Europe: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3832201.stm

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