iTunes sold versus iPods sold

[ updated March 3 with a new graph ]

Today I noticed on Digg that someone had graphed iTunes songs sold since the iTunes music store was opened.

One of the comments on the site was: I’d like to see that contrasted with iPods sold. So I thought I’d take some data points from the web and play a little.

Note: when I first posted this, I posted a bit of a rough graph that just showed iPod sales … which means that visitors would have to look at both this site and the one mentioned above to compare.

So now I’ve put together a graph that shows both iTunes and iPod sales on a single graph:


Be aware that while the iPod y axis goes up by fours, the iTunes axis goes up by tens. It was the only way I could get both datasets on one graph (that fits on this web page without scrolling!)

Here’s the data that I found (all over the place online):

  • Jan 11 2006 42 million
  • Nov 29 2005 30 million
  • Nov 2 2005 28 milllion
  • March 31 2005 15 million
  • January 13 2005 10 million
  • Jan 6 2004 2 million
  • June 1 2003 1 million
  • Dec 31 2001 125,000
  • Oct 23 2001 0 sold

12 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Interesting. It seems like the graph is going nearly vertical. This does make me think of the technology adoption cycle. Perhaps the iPod will avoid the sales stagnation implied by the latter cycle, because it is as much a fashion statement as a technology being adopted.

  • Does this graph show that the average iPod owner has bought no more than 2.5 songs from the iTunes music store?

  • Good idea and nice graph. Yes, this would imply the AVERAGE user bought 2.5 songs per iPod, but an average says nothing about the ones who buy 100 songs, or none.

    Think standard deviations and a normal distribution curve and you’d be on the right track. Basically you can gather more detailed info for a better observation. But that’s what Apple’s marketing and statistician teams do. There would be outliers like the guy who buys 2.5 songs, or 1000 songs, but the mean is somewhere in the middle. Don’t ask me to give a stat here, I’m just observing this observation. Run your own regression and discuss amongst yourselves. 🙂

  • 40 million iPods and 1 billion songs is 25 songs per pod. The graph legend says “tens of millions of iPods” or 400 million sold. Should be 40 million.

  • Tom: it’s confusing because there are essentially 2 instances of the y-axis on the same graph. Just look at the red numbers for iPods, and the blue number for iTunes.

  • I think you need to check your sources on iPod sales. I found the same information, but I wouldn’t call it reliable. You would be best off looking at Apples Quarterly results they post, as far as I can see, they have sold a total of 25 million iPods rather than 42 million some websites quote.

    Where did you get the iPod sales figures? Check this link for the actual figures:

  • anyone know what the monthly unit sales for the iPod? I am writing a paper about iPod perif sales and I would like to do a correlation between iPod unit sales.

  • I just got my 2000t and all of my songs are skipping in iTunes, and I cant figure out why. If someone could help me out and tell me how to fix this I would really appreciate it because its driving me crazy. Thanks for the replys.

  • Yeah this may work out at an 2 average tunes or whatever, thats pretty low. also, iTunes isn’t exclusively for people with iPods, people without iPods can use the service too.