content strategy

iTunes #2, for now.

[ image courtesy of kunstlab / Flickr ]

Arkansas juggernaut seller of all things Wal-Mart had better keep an eye over shoulder. Business Week reports that iTunes has surpassed Best Buy and Target to become the #2 music retailer. states that the download store sold 20 million tracks on Christmas day 2007. In one day.

I guess that will work until everyone gets on board with the subscription streaming model, where we pay for access to everything ever recorded. [Or at least as much as the copyright holders will license.]

The more music I download from eMusic, the more it gets lost on my harddrive. [I don’t buy much of anything from iTunes because of their extant & punitive DRM.] I end up buying physical copies of things I really enjoy hearing, even though I have paid for them to some degree through my subscription to eMusic. This is probably silly and counter-intuitive, and the main reason that this next month’s membership will be my last month.

I have gone back and forth on this, and I am strongly considering putting that eMusic subscription money towards a Rhapsody subscription. Rhapsody has the unlimited streaming of songs for a set price of $12.99.

This model will support the behavior that I am certain I am not the only one engaging in. Being a sometimes fan of some pop songs, I enjoy hearing them more than once. I could pay a buck on iTunes, or about 33 cents on eMusic, and have the single track get lost in my 11,000 song iTunes library. I have done that. I don’t make playlists, and I don’t burn many mix CDs, so these precious few singles quickly fall between the cracks.

My main interest is in full albums and compilations; I will continue to buy those physical objects. With an outlet for my pop song interests pointed at Rhapsody, I won’t have the urge to by albums that in the end, I really don’t want. I’ll go to the site and stream them.

And everyone is happy. I’m glad we worked that out.

Oh, and congrats iTunes. I guess.