There are a bunch of news items floating round the internets that claim iTunes sales are collapsing, based on a Forrester research report. Unfortunately, that's not quite what the report says. The data was for Jan-June, and of course, just like music retail, sales drop off at the start of the year. Here's more, from Coolfer...
"Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff, whose name has been all over the news because of a report on slow sales at iTunes, offered clarification on his report. At a follow-up post at his blog, Bernoff called it a "a case study in how information -- and misinformation -- spreads on the Net."
News or the report started with a "fairly balanced" article at The New York Times. Then The Register and Bloomberg, he wrote, "decided to dive in and highlight one finding of the report -- that iTunes sales had dropped in the first six months of this year." With that came sensational words like "collapsing" and "dropping." Newspapers around the world followed suit. Apple's stock dropped 3%. All from a report that indicated what everybody already knew -- iTunes' sales have been flattening out.
Bernoff laid out his opinion in very clear terms (emphasis his):
"Now for the record, iTunes sales are not collapsing. Our credit card transaction data shows a real drop between the January post-holiday peak and the rest of the year, but with the number of transactions we counted it's simply not possible to draw this conclusion . . . as we pointed out in the report. But that point was just too subtle to get into these articles."
He added that Apple's refusal not to comment either or or off the record "fuels speculation, pro and con, from their supporters and detractors."
So there you go. The sky is not falling. iTunes sales, while not breathing new life into recorded music sales, are not 65% down since January. Even just a cursory glance at Soundscan figures indicate positive year-over-year growth and slower growth in 2006."