Apple, don't kill the music download
Musicians advocacy group the Content Creator Coalition is pleading with Apple not to kill off its music downloading service.
As consumers turn away from downloads and sign up for streaming services, there have been reports that Apple plans to unplug iTunes downloading in March 2019, though the company has yet to confirm the stories. Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine said in a recent BBC interview that iTunes would stop selling digital downloads ‘when people stop buying’.
US download revenue slumped 25% in 2017, pulling in revenue of just $1.3bn – compared to physical formats’ $1.5bn.
In a letter to Apple, the CCC pointed out that many subscription and ad-supported streaming services do not deliver a living wage for artists. And while downloads have slowed, a sale still produces far more income to creators than a stream.
“Even with the rise of streaming, downloads continue to supply 15% of industry revenues, a vital pillar in the many-legged-stool it takes to make a successful music career and to help artists hoping to cobble together a middle-class living from their work.”
The organisation adds that downloads can protect fans from “the vagaries of technological shifts, rights disputes, and legal changes that can cut them off from valued music if the only source they have available are streaming databases.”