Music has existed for probably as long as humans have been alive. We use it to accompany day-to-day activities from traveling to sports, shopping, and even work. As humans evolve, so does the type and style of music that is created to be listened to. If you compare music from the sixties and seventies to what we listen to today, the changes become clearly obvious. A good analogy of this is a growing curve where every new style is just a buildup of the previous one. How music is performed and distributed too has gradually changed throughout the years. Today a huge percentage of music is streamed online in digital formats contrary to the older style of physical bulky copies.

Digital music distribution, or simply online

Digital music distribution, or simply online music streaming, has grown to become the most profitable source of revenue for the music industry. It alone accounts for eighty-three percent of total revenue with physical copies coming in second place at only nine percent. Digital downloads follow at six percent according to data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The data from them alone is enough to show how important music is to society. Streaming employs millions of people, making it an economic lifeline for communities all over the world. Software developers, musicians, visual artists, producers, licensers, lawyers, and deejays are some of them just to mention a few. The RIAA data comprehensively estimates that digital music in total accounts for 170 billion dollars in GDP.

Seeing how profitable the music market

Seeing how profitable the music market opens your mind to think of future possibilities if the same trend continues. Numbers don’t lie, and these especially push what was thought to be impossible to a new level. Taking Apple Music as an example, you can really scrutinize how the music business works and why it is so profitable. A popular question in music enthusiast’s circles is the amount of money it would take to buy all the music on Apple’s streaming platform. To even be able to compute how much this could amount to, you have to start by learning the basic functioning of Apple’s service all the way to its business models.

The Price of All of iTunes Music

Apple Music is a popular music streaming service that is based on a regular subscription. It has a massive collection of songs that surpass the 75 million dollar mark. The application comes already installed on Apple’s devices, but you may have to download it in case you are using a device from a different manufacturer. Apple must have really invested in the app’s development as it has a classy look and easy to use interface. Many features are packed into it including curated playlists not to mention offline listening options for whenever you are not connected to the internet. An interesting perk is the ability to combine every song you like and place them in a single location. Voice command integration using Apple’s automated voice assistant makes your experience even better.

The platform was launched in 2015 soon after Apple’s parent company closed a deal worth millions with Beats. A huge catalog from iTunes enables you to stream any track you can think of immediately. Since this is a service that requires regular payment, additional features are available to make it worthwhile. Unlimited skips on albums, single tracks, and radio stations from Apple Music’s catalog are one of them. How to purchase music from iTunes is a common query with a pretty straightforward solution. It is as simple as walking into your favorite music store and buying a CD except you’re doing it virtually this time. Songs on iTunes have pricing indicated on them and so do the albums.

Pricing on iTunes is done through a price tier system which allows you to determine the wholesale price assigned to a song or an album. Tier is determined by deals previously agreed upon by the artist and the artist’s representatives. Changes are made from time to time to ensure a fair exchange among involved parties. A typical price for an album on iTunes is 9 point 99 dollars, although the price often drops by four dollars for other catalog items.

Single tracks go for 0 point 99 each with the higher tiers ranging from 1.30 to 2 dollars. As of now, iTunes has approximately 60 million songs in its library. Logically, if a single song averagely costs a dollar, then it would hypothetically cost you over 60 million dollars to purchase all of them.