The iTunes influence, part two: Setting the music free

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DNP  The iTunes influence, part two Giving the people what they want

I think the consumer is going to be driving this train for quite a long time.
— Casey Rae, deputy director, Future of Music Coalition

In 2003, the iTunes Music Store established an environment for downloadable music at exactly the time when consumers needed a safe and stable online music store. iTunes sold a million songs in the first week, 10 million in five months and 25 million songs after eight months.

But the consumer demands of one era do not necessarily hold sway in a different cycle. iTunes is facing powerful competition from Amazon, Google and Microsoft in the pay-per-download business. Meanwhile, streaming platforms like Spotify, Rdio and YouTube are establishing a widespread attitude that music is free, and that downloading from a store isn’t as compelling as accessing a service. Apple is still making plenty of sales in the music store (15,000 downloads per minute), but users are also flocking in different directions.

With the state of music industry still in flux, 2013 could be as pivotal as 2003, and the next 10 years could be as eventful as the last 10.

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