Last year, music sales accounted for 24% of the total revenue of iTunes. With just under a quarter of revenues coming from music, the question could be asked of iTunes: is it still a platform predominantly concerned with music? The majority of iTunes revenue comes from application sales, which is hardly surprising considering the proliferation of new apps on a daily basis. The remainder of sales come from other media such as audiobooks and television episodes. This new revenue breakdown is a big departure from just a few years ago.
iTunes is no longer the only game in town as far as mainstream digital music platforms are concerned. As streaming becomes the primary means of legal online music consumption, track sales become less essential to the overall model, in turn driving iTunes to compete with streaming services like Spotify. Another question is begged here, namely with so many irons in the fire, can iTunes even dedicate enough of its attention to successfully perform and compete against these services?
Furthermore, iTunes has acquired Beats Music, a newer streaming service. This is an interesting proposition as both music industry consolidation and a crowded streaming space both have their respective pitfalls; fewer players in the industry create a less-competitive market and too many create a disorganized one. With the changes happening to iTunes, it is not anticipate to anticipate an iteration in the near future that places streaming front and center with track purchases becoming a novelty or forgotten relic.