How to Tune-Up iTunes Radio Potential


By Sam Milkman, Executive Vice President, Music Forecasting

One of the key selling points of iTunes Radio during its development, as far as the major labels were concerned, was its ability to sell more digital music. Not only would the service reside right “inside” iTunes so that the hundreds of millions of iTunes users would have to see it, but a prominent “buy” button would appear constantly as every song played, making iTunes Radio a continuous advertisement for music sales. While it would have been far too exuberant to predict that iTunes Radio would usher in a new Golden Age of digital music sales, the hope was that it would provide some substantial uplift.

However, that does not appear to be happening so far, at least not dramatically. Nor does it seem likely to happen if the service continues along its current path, according to our latest research. The most interesting revelation in our research among streaming radio users is this: iTunes Radio’s lack of impact on digital music sales is not because people who listen to streaming radio no longer buy music.

To better understand the purchasing behaviors of these digital music consumers, and for clues on how streaming radio services can improve their impact on digital sales we provide a full, detailed report here.