Apps Dominate, Where Has All the Music Gone?

By Katie Kindelan Comment

If you’ve heard the joke, “there’s an app for that,” one too many times, sorry, but get used to it. As Apple prepares to hit nearly ten billion downloads at the App Store, there is no end in sight, new research confirms.

“As of today, nearly 10 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store worldwide,” blares the Apple App Store home page. “Which is almost as amazing as the apps themselves.”

And as smartphones continue to dominate the marketplace, new numbers show apps for said smartphones are overtaking the music that started the whole business.

Horace Dediu, an analyst with industry research firm Asymco, delved deep into the App Store metrics to find an “amazing acceleration in download rates.”

Dediu concluded the App Store is ramping faster than iTunes music downloads: Apps reached 10 billion downloads in less than half the time it took songs, 31 months for apps compared to 67 months for music.

“Apps overtaking digital music is a watershed event,” Dediu reports. “Apps are a new medium: they will impact all other media.”

And more, Apple paid $2 billion in 31 months to app developers compared with 34 months for the first $2 billion paid out for iTunes music. All told, record labels have received $12 billion from iTunes, so it’s still a profitable venture, to say the least.

According to Dediu, in the fall of 2008, around 10 apps were downloaded for every iPhone/iPod touch. Two years later the rate was more than five times higher.

Today, his numbers show, 30 million apps are being downloaded each day.

Building on this, a recent report from research firm MarketsandMarkets found the mobile app market will nearly quadruple in the next five years, from $6.8 billion in 2010 to about $25 billion in 2015.

Apple’s App Store is expected to capture about 20.5 percent of the burgeoning market, according to the report, first reported by TechCrunch.