Bleak Future for Video iTunes?

Dennis Faas's picture

Up until now, few have questioned the success of the iPod and iTunes. However, the future of Video iTunes has now come under criticism, as more channels have begun streaming their own free content. Is there a future for iTunes? (Source:

While sales of movies and television shows are expected to almost triple this year, a new study by Forrester Research found that unless the average consumer begins paying for online content en masse (which -- let's be serious -- is not likely to happen), growth in sales will likely begin to diminish next year. This could spell out bad news for Apple's iTunes, which charges users for content, as consumers are shifting toward free content. (Source:

"In the video space, iTunes is just a temporary flash while consumers wait for better ways to get video," said Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey, the author of the study. McQuivey did not hold back when describing what he thinks is the future of the paid download video market, calling it a "dead end." (Source:

The Forrester study found that only about 9 percent of online adults have paid to download a movie or program. These people spent an average of $14 each to purchase videos last year.

Causing the move away from iTunes and other paid downloads is the increase in free online content. and News Corp.'s Fox are a couple of channels that are showing programs for free. Also, News Corp. and General Electric's NBC Universal have launched a joint venture to distribute a combined archive of shows over the Internet. (Source:

Reaction to the study has not been entirely cohesive. Many Internet users point out their willingness to pay for downloads and avoid the commercials that come with free content.

One user wrote: "I am MORE than willing to wait an extra day and get only the commercial-free programming I want for a nominal charge." (Source:

Still, McQuivey insists, "free is going to win." (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet