The iTunes Effect

And the future of content

A recent Harvard Business School study deals with “the iTunes effect”: what happens to music sales as more people adopt digital purchasing of music.

It’s just as bad as you’d expect.

While some in media sing the praises of all things Apple, the data clearly shows that for every 1% increase in users who move to online buying of music, there’s a 6% decrease in album sales.

Yes, singles sales increase, but overall, people spend a lot less for music than they used to, and that’s killing the music industry.

For every Justin Bieber, who bypassed traditional record company development by using Facebook, there must be many new artists who are not being discovered and promoted because of this new music economic reality.

Apple is now telling the publishing world that their iPad will revolutionize newspapers, magazines and books, making the experience of using them digitally so much richer than they were when they were delivered in your mailbox at home.


Maybe richer for the consumer, and for Apple, but how about for the publishers?

I think I’ll just keep my skeptic’s hat on until we get some more data on that one…