Measuring the iTunes video store

It’s been five years since we had an update on TV show downloads and six years since we’ve had an update on movie downloads from Apple. In Q3 2008 Apple announced 200 million TV show downloads and in Q2 2007 2 million movies. That’s a long period with no information making a tough extrapolation to the present.

Nevertheless, I tried. My estimates for these two quantities were 963 million TV Shows and 108.2 million movies to date.

So I was quite surprised to see that figures for both TV show downloads and Movie downloads were published today. The figures were 1 billion and 380 million respectively.

My TV show forecast has proven to be very accurate but I severely underestimated movie download rates. Apple states that the movie download rate is 350k/day. My estimate  was only about 126k/day.

After adjusting for the new data, the picture of downloads that emerges looks like this:

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The overall iTunes gross revenues by sub-component becomes:

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As a result, my new estimate for the rate of spending on iTunes video is about $1.75 billion/yr. This is much more substantial than prior estimates mainly because movies are much more valuable. A tripling of the download rate shows up as a significant rise in the profile of video vis-à-vis the other media types.

Apps and software are firmly defined and music was somewhat clear. The upward adjustment in Video means that I have to reduce either Music or services. I presently am reducing service revenues but might adjust music as well.

The overall picture of iTunes is becoming clearer every day. We have more information about number of users (575 million), what they spend on media and software and services ($20 billion/yr.) and, increasingly what they spend on each media type (about $9/yr on Software, $2/yr on books, $16/yr on apps $12/yr on music and $4/yr on video.)

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