This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

iTunes, Digital Music Fly Into 'Cloud'

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- When companies such as Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) help the music industry ascend into the cloud, they may want to take their users' digital collections with them.

Streaming services including Pandora, Rhapsody and Spotify continue to gain traction among millions of listeners but, according to a report from Forrester Research (FORR), 58% of adults in the U.S. who used the Internet in 2009 still maintain a digital music collection.

With their numbers rising from 54% in 2008 and with a mean average of 1,200 songs in their collections, those consumers have amplified their say in the future of cloud-based music content, in which songs are provided to computers and other devices on-demand.

"If everything goes into the cloud and all you're doing is listening to Rhapsody, you're not going to give up the music you already have," says Sonal Gandhi, a Forrester analyst and lead researcher on the recently released report "The Growing Significance of Digital Music Collections." "You've spent time and money collecting the music and making those playlists, and that time and money needs to be accounted for."

Forrester's findings come as music-related companies suffer a drop in demand. Nielsen Soundscan said last month that digital-music sales were down in the first quarter, while the biggest music company in the world, Vivendi's Universal Music Group, had a 1.7% digital drop as part of a 13% plunge in overall quarterly music sales.

Against that backdrop, digital-music consumers are still in a state of flux, if not confusion. Though the online user has embraced the digital medium, Forrester finds that about 52% of his library comprises music ripped from compact discs and only 17% purchased online.

The options are complicating matters, as Google's (GOOG) Android, iPhone, Palm (PALM), Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry and Nokia's (NOK - Get Report) Symbian smartphone operating systems all run their own music-management software. Meanwhile, Sony (SNE - Get Report), Panasonic (PC) and Samsung hardware also have their own take on digital-music management.

Even when a cloud-based service does span several platforms, like Pandora or Sony favorite Slacker Radio, the attachment to a personal collection is often sacrificed for portability. It's the reason such streaming services have been successful in introducing subscription plans, but it also addresses a need that traditional online music stores aren't meeting.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $127.98 0.30%
GOOG $537.50 0.40%
MSFT $43.10 0.45%
NOK $7.86 3.30%
SNE $30.36 0.00%

Markets

DOW 18,034.93 +208.63 1.17%
S&P 500 2,100.40 +19.22 0.92%
NASDAQ 4,994.6020 +62.7870 1.27%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs