iTunes Sales ‘Collapse’ Refuted

Earlier this week, analysis from Forrester Research examining credit card transactions with Apple’s iTunes Music Store reported to show that digital music sales were collapsing. Apple quickly refuted the report, stating Forrester’s conclusions were “simply incorrect.” And today, market analysis firms comScore and Piper Jaffray have jumped into the fray, claiming that not only are the number of buying transactions for the iTunes Music Store significantly higher in 2006 than they were in 2005, but that customers are, on average, spending more money per transaction.

“As Mark Twain might have said, the rumors of iTunes’ death have been greatly exaggerated,” said Gian Fulgoni, comScore Networks chairman, in a release. “In contrast to a recent research report indicating that iTunes sales have declined by 65 percent, comScore data show that iTunes sales actually grew 84 percent during the first three quarters of 2006 versus year ago.”

According to comScore, revenue from Apple’s overall iTunes service rose 84 percent during the first three quarters of 2006, as compared to the first three quarters of 2006. Overall, the period say a 67 percent increase in the number of buying transactions, and, on average, the amount of those transactions increased by 10 percent. comScore gets its data from permissibly monitored online behaviors of 1 million U.S. consumers; their iTunes sales data covers some 8.5 million buying transactions, as opposed to the 2,700 credit card transactions Forrester monitored over a 27-month period.

comScore also believes the overall number of iTunes users has increased, reporting that in November, 2006, some 20.8 million unique visitors accessed the iTunes store, an increase of 85 percent compared to November of 2005.

comScore’s number also says its numbers match closely with data from Piper Jaffray, which found the number of songs sold each week on iTunes had increased by 78 percent in the first nine months of 2006, compared to the same period in 2005.

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