Case Study: Itunes Music Store

The iTunes Music Store from Apple Computer allows Mac and PC users to legally discover, purchase and download music online. It features more than one million songs from the major music companies and 600 independent record labels, over 9,000 audiobooks, gift certificates and exclusive music not found anywhere else online.

Since its inception, Apple customers have purchased and downloaded more than 250 million songs from the iTunes Music Store. iTunes users are now downloading one and a quarter million songs per day, which is an annual run rate of almost half a billion songs per year.

The iTunes Music Store is now available in fifteen countries, which together represent more than 70 percent of the global music market. [Source: Apple Computer, Inc., January 2005]

Things to read:

Questions to consider:

  • How does the iTunes business model work? How is it different from traditional models for the music industry?
  • How does the iTunes model compare with other Internet music services, such as Listen.com?
  • Can the iTunes model survive in an environment where illegal music downloading runs rampant?

Intellectual Property

Selected trademark applications and registrations:

Selected patents: