30% of iPhone Users Leaning Toward Using iTunes Match

RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky today published a report sharing the results of a new survey of iPhone users, unsurprisingly revealing that 76% of surveyed users are planning to take advantage of Apple's free iCloud services. More significantly, the survey offers the first look at the popularity of iTunes Match, with 30% of respondents indicating that they are somewhat likely or very likely to utilize the $24.99/year service.

Extrapolating the survey results across Apple's iOS ecosystem, RBC notes that Apple could see 150 million users on its free iCloud services with 60 million of those also participating in iTunes Match, a figure that would see Apple pulling in an extra $1.5 billion per year in gross revenues. With Apple reportedly keeping 30% of iTunes Match revenue with the rest being passed on to music labels and publishers, Apple would see about $450 million in revenues from the program.

rbc itunes match survey
Those figures are likely on the optimistic side, however, as only 10% of surveyed iPhone users registered as "very likely" to sign up for iTunes Match, with the other 20% pegging their interest at a lower "somewhat likely" level. Approximately 15% offered no opinion on whether or not they would use the service.

The survey also finds that 73% of surveyed users are somewhat likely or very likely to use Apple's new iMessage service in iOS 5. Together, iCloud and iMessage are seen to "enhance loyalty and stickiness" for Apple's customers, potentially encouraging iPod touch users to stick with the iOS platform rather than defecting to Android or another platform when it comes time to purchase a smartphone.

RBC's data appears to come from a subset of approximately 450 iPhone users within a larger survey containing nearly 1,500 respondents.

Top Rated Comments

wordoflife Avatar
152 months ago
Count me in the 70% who does not plan to use it.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BruiserB Avatar
152 months ago
With iTunes match, do you actually get the replacement song files downloaded to your computer, or do you just get the matches "in the cloud?"

In other words, could I subscribe to iTunes match for one year and get all of my ripped songs from iTunes and then drop it a year later and continue to have my songs matched in the cloud since I now have "official" iTunes files on my computer?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
badtzwang Avatar
152 months ago
I think its a little bit too early for anyone to make a definitive decision as to whether or not they will sign up for the iTunes Match service.

The $24.99/year service does look appealing to me, but the details surrounding the terms of service are still very scarce. I think a lot of the people who voted "Unlikely" either don't know much about iTunes Match or want to wait to see the details.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chaosbunny Avatar
152 months ago
Since I don't use iTunes to buy my music but prefer to get CDs I will not be using this feature. Why should I pay twice? And "the cloud" sucks anyway.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BC2009 Avatar
152 months ago
With iTunes match, do you actually get the replacement song files downloaded to your computer, or do you just get the matches "in the cloud?"

In other words, could I subscribe to iTunes match for one year and get all of my ripped songs from iTunes and then drop it a year later and continue to have my songs matched in the cloud since I now have "official" iTunes files on my computer?
I *believe* that Apple is going to give you the actual file to store locally. However, whereas a normal iTunes purchase would be available via iCloud sync to all devices, the iTunes-matched music that you never actually purchased through iTunes would only be available if you have your current $25 per year subscription. Apple does have a record of every song you actually purchased from them through iTunes.

So the scenario would go like this....

1) Rip 100 CDs

2) Get iTunes Match and get iTunes digital files for everything ripped

3) Use iCloud to effortlessly move music between your devices whether bought on iTunes or matched by iTunes

4) iTunes Match subscription expires

5) All your iTunes Match music that has not been purchased can no longer be synced over iCloud, but you still have all the digital files so that you can sync them manually

Your alternative is to buy the music directly on iTunes to avoid the recurring fees. Basically, Apple is selling you the synching service and giving the music industry a cut. The music industry likes it because it creates a recurring revenue model for them on music they previously got nothing for, and if you don't like the recurring revenue, but like the iCloud service then maybe you will repurchase (or first-time purchase) the music that you ripped.

I imagine many folks actually purchased CDs as opposed to downloading bootlegged copies. But iTunes Match will treat those the same way.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OptyCT Avatar
152 months ago
I think you're kind of illustrating my point ... since when was iTunes Match a streaming service? Not sure if that was covered in detail during the keynote.

I think with the $24.99/year, you are basically paying for convenience rather than unlimited storage. If I download an album on my computer, I'll be able to access that album with my phone without any uploading. That, and you basically get the 256kbps version of the song, which alone I would gladly pay $25 for.

That's not how it works. You can rip a CD into iTunes on your computer. Then, with iTunes Match, that album is scanned automatically and matched in the cloud as part of your library. At that point, you then have the option to download that album onto any other device that shares the same iTunes account (another Mac or PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, etc.). If your device is set to automatically download new content, then the ripped album will show up automatically.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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