.25 Gigasongs And Counting (1/25/05)

Sorry about the extended absence, folks, but between head colds, blizzards, and suddenly-moved-up deadlines, we've been slightly preoccupied for the past six days. (Actually, we blew three of 'em on a really tough word-hunt puzzle we found on a Denny's placemat-- did you know that they even hide the words backwards? Crafty fiends!) So forgive us for the momentary lapse of AtATian activity, and give us a little time to get caught up on current events; it probably won't take all that long, since the post-Expo doldrums appear to have settled in a bit at last, but there were definitely a few noteworthy occurrences in the past week that we ought to tackle before they get too stale. Case in point: it's time once again to check in with Apple for yet another iTunes Music Store song sales milestone.

We know, we know-- "Already? Didn't we just do that?" Well, kinda, yeah... and that's sort of the point. See, the reason why Apple's iTMS milestones seem to be coming more and more frequently is because, um, they are. When Apple issued its press release yesterday announcing that the iTMS has now passed the quarter-billion songs point, it came a mere 40 days after the last milestone, the Big 2-0-0-comma-0-0-0-comma-0-0-0, which touched down in the middle of last month.

That's the shortest interval between milestones yet, and since the iTMS shows no signs of slowing down, you should probably get used to these updates coming fast and furious; faithful viewer and semi-official iTMS Milestone Statskeeper Scott Naness confirms that, just as Apple announced, Apple is now selling about one-and-a-quarter million songs each and every day. That's a startling 55 percent increase over Apple's average iTMS sales rate just six weeks ago, which may or may not be sustainable-- apparently all those folks who found an iPod under the tree last month decided they just had to go load 'em up with iTMSy goodness right away, so don't be surprised if the rate drops slightly next time around, what with Christmas being over and all. Then again, given the fact that people seem to be snarfing up iPod shuffles like so many Totino's Pizza Rolls, don't be surprised if it goes up again, either.

By the way, how do you suppose Scott Blum of the ill-fated iTMS rip-off BuyMusic.com reacted to the news? Remember, this was a guy who actually thought his service would sell a million songs per day and hit "200 million to 300 million downloads in the first year." It sure must sting a little that the very service he trashed to anyone with a microphone just broke his own sales goal and currently has a run rate of half a billion songs per year, while his own service bombed so completely that it was reabsorbed into the main Buy.com web site just nine months after he blew an obscene wad of cash on marketing to launch the thing. Then again, given the sheer absurdity of his BuyMusic estimates in the first place, he's probably too perennially stoned to be able to read Apple's press release, let alone care what it says. C'mon, the man spent $40 million to slap giant posters of a naked Tommy Lee all over Times Square; does this sound like the act of someone who isn't on serious drugs?

SceneLink (5147)
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The above scene was taken from the 1/25/05 episode:

January 25, 2005: The iTunes Music Store sells its quarter-billionth song. Meanwhile, Creative's "War on Apple" fizzles early as the company misses its shipment forecast by 50 percent, and the new iTunes-Pepsi giveaway doesn't start until next week, but yellow-capped bottles are already available far and wide...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 5148: At War With Mr. Magoo (1/25/05)   Speaking of delusional megalomaniacs talking smack about outselling Apple in the digital music realm, do you happen to recall back in November when Sim Wong Hoo (the CEO of rival portable music player manufacturer Creative Technology) "declared war" on the iPod?...

  • 5149: A Head Start On Guzzlefest (1/25/05)   We've got one last item to catch up on: remember how Apple and Pepsi are about to redo that whole iTunes song giveaway from last year? While there are plans to make it bigger and better than the original promo (200 million songs, a free iPod mini given away every hour, a fresh new citrus scent, etc.), many people are understandably concerned that Pepsi will muff the whole thing once more by forgetting to put yellow-capped bottles on shelves again until about thirty seconds before the giveaway ends...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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