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Xbox Live More Popular than iTunes? 86

Microsoft announced this morning that they'd reached 10 Million downloads with the new Xbox Live service, a download rate even faster than the iTunes Music Store. From the Gamespot article: "The tech giant also revealed that more content for Xbox Live is on the way. The company confirmed that new achievements and automobiles will be available for Project Gotham Racing 3, new multiplayer maps are headed to Perfect Dark Zero, and an online cooperative mode for Kameo: Elements of Power will be ready soon. The company did not say whether said downloads would be free or, as is more likely, come at a price."
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Xbox Live More Popular than iTunes?

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  • by Ryan J. Evans ( 29421 ) * on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:28PM (#14968187)

    Talk to me when XBL has a billion downloads...

    Apple iTunes downloads passes 1 billion songs []

    (Disclaimer: I use and like both itunes and XBL, but saying that something that just hit 10m downloads is more popular than something that just passed 1b is ridiculous.)

    • Kinda wondering how you got that offtopic mod....

      anyway, I think that the rate of the curve should be given some review when determining popularity.
      If iTunes has a flat rate of growth and XBL has this monster quadratic or log curve showing up then the argument may be valid. Nevermind that I really do agree with you.

      Just thought about this: all numbers should be normalized against subscriber base. The base its self should be a weight.
    • Hm. I don't think you get the point. I believe the whole thing is saying that XBL has reached 10m downloads faster than iTunes reached 10m. Does not necessarily mean that XBL is more popular iTunes, or vice-versa, but the growth rate is currently higher than iTunes was at it's particular stage of life.
      • by Ryan J. Evans ( 29421 ) * on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:28PM (#14968548)

        Actually, I get what they're saying just fine. I just don't think their statement has any real value. Even if we ignore the fact that comparing total downloads between XBL and iTunes isn't relevant [], and we ignore the fact that XBL didn't [] hit 10m any faster, there's still the fact that these are two network services started approximately 4 years apart after a great deal of consumer training done on the part of apple and others. Hitting 10m at the 4 month mark simply doesn't have the same impact as it did 4 years ago.

      • That is also not a comparison that means anything though. At this stage in the iTunes Music Store's life, it was only out for Mac. This means the adoption rate was very low. Comparing XBL to iTunes right after it released iTunes for Windows would be a better comparison although it still doesn't really mean anything.
      • iTMS was also Mac only for the first number of months. No shit it didn't reach 10m as quickly, the user base was very small. As soon as it opened to the Windows world, things started to take off.
    • Talk to me when XBL has a billion downloads... Apple iTunes downloads passes 1 billion songs (Disclaimer: I use and like both itunes and XBL, but saying that something that just hit 10m downloads is more popular than something that just passed 1b is ridiculous.)

      And not only that, talk to me when those 1 billion downloads are paid downloads. AFAIK, Apple only counts the stuff they sell as a download, but I am not 100%.

    • I was going to say the exact same thing...

      I think this might possibly be the shittiest article I've EVER read on slashdot.

      And I was here during the Jon Katz years *shudder*
  • Misleading title (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iced_773 ( 857608 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:28PM (#14968189)

    One thing cannot be compared to an unrelated thing. XBox Live is for gaming, while iTunes is for music (and video) downloads. The title should read:

    Gaming More Popular than Music Downloads

    Now I'll go read the summary. ;)
    • The results are skewed. It's still way easy to get free current music. It's more difficult to get free current games/mods,etc for the XBox. XBox Live is in the situation where it is the only provider of the content people are downloading. It's an enviable position if you're XBox Live execs.

      Music is infinitely more popular than gaming though - for the obvious reasons. It's a poor comparison.

      However, XBox Live is positioning itself to be a content provider to the home. They can easily distribute music now - a
      • It's an enviable position if you're XBox Live execs.

        Enviable? I've got a hunch that this is mostly empty bandwidth. XBOX execs are very good at releasing impressive numbers, but very bad at earning a cold hard profit. If XBOX were ever to earn any achievement of note, you will hear them shouting from the heavens, and you certainly won't see announcements about it as blatantly ambiguous as this.
    • Thusfar, to my knowledge MS and 3rd parties do not charge money other then the xbox live fee. The ten million downloads were all free downloads in a sense. I'm not sure why in the world it would be compared to a service that charges money per download.
      • You pay real money for "points" that you then use to purchase downloads, not all downloads cost money. But they certianly aren't all free. IMO, the use of points to aquire downloadables is a great marketing move on MS's part, people don't think of them as money, and are more willing to part with them.

      • The wonderful world of microsoft marketing, do the downloads include or exclude patches and yes microsoft game console games now come with patches (as well as microsoft live updates/patches/bug fixes).

        So what happens if you don't have a hard disk drive or you don't make use of microsoft live, do you just get stuck with beta versions of their games ?

  • Apples to Oranges (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fonos ( 847221 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:32PM (#14968210)
    Uhm, you're comparing how many downloads a big company gets when they offer new maps and stuff for free, to songs that you purchase for 99 cents a piece. It seems like you're comparing apples to oranges.
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @07:33PM (#14968213)
    Apple should offer video games through iTunes to see if it's more popular than Xbox Live. Of course, I think Ballmer will hurl a building or two if Apple can one billion games downloaded. :P
  • misleading (Score:2, Insightful)

    by suspected ( 907639 )
    This article is the definition of misleading
  • ...that was the most useless and nonsensical Slashdot headline I have ever seen.

    • Coincidentally, yesterday I read a post by someone whose signature was "Blocking stories posted by Zonk since [some date]". Maybe we should start doing the same; to me at least, his stories usually aren't worth the reading time. It wouldn't be unreasonable to say his stories actually makes us dumber in the long run.
    • Alright, the bar is set. Here we go Taco...
  • same as iTunes (Score:5, Informative)

    by morcheeba ( 260908 ) * on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:00PM (#14968380) Journal
    The XBOX360 has been out for 4 months now -- that's the same amount of time it took iTunes to sell 10 million songs []. But, Xbox has been released world-wide -- at that time, iTunes hadn't launched in europe yet [] and was only available to rabid mac owners. []
    • Also, Xbox Live had already accumulated a fairly large userbase over the last four years on the Xbox. The article is only counting the "new" Xbox Live Marketplace, which is more of an upgrade than a brand new product. iTunes had no established userbase when it first launched.

      Perhaps a more accurate comparison would be to iTunes sales after the release of version 4.1, the first Windows version. At that time, iTunes had been available on the Mac for two years, putting it in a similar situation as the curre
  • by Gothic_Walrus ( 692125 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:07PM (#14968421) Journal
    iTunes isn't mentioned in the article proper, and it doesn't even appear on the page until one of the comments that appears halfway down the page.

    We're stealing headlines from random forum users now? For shame, guys. For shame. :)

  • What was the average cost of items in real dollars? Avatars surely don't cost as much as entire games.

    How many transactions remain if only count transactions that people actually paid for? In other words, excluding transactions made with points that came with the xbox or came with the xbox live subscription.

    And of course, on top of all that, you can't really compare an online service that sells ONE item (songs, since we're only counting those in the 1 billion figure) to a service that sells everything from
    • Can we also ignore downloads generated by a huge pepsi promotion?
      • It depends, really. When Microsoft gives free points, most of the content is created by them, so it doesn't cost them anything. Obviously some marketplace content (such as games) is created by third parties, so that would cost Microsoft money.

        Pepsi paid apple for those downloads, so somebody was still paying for those songs.

        Regardless, the point is moot. Pepsi's promotion failed. When they did it in 2004, they had 100 million songs to give away, but only ended up giving away 5 million. I think they did a se
  • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:15PM (#14968471) Homepage
    I can totally see this! I mean there are SO many Xbox owners compared to iPod uh. Oh.

    Are they sure they're not fudging numbers somewhere?

  • In other news: Apples more important than Google?
  • Well iTunes is more popular than the Beatles. And you know who the Beatles are more popular than...

    Jesus is gonna get mighty pissed!
  • Microsoft isn't at the top of the heap, though. Also released today were figures showing that ball-point pens outsold both XBox live and iTunes.
  • by polyp2000 ( 444682 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @08:26PM (#14968533) Homepage Journal
    Shoes are more popular than television sets.
  • Ah, more Spamming on XBox Live [], I see.

    I wish Zonk would stop doing that.

  • Will Xbox Live finally provide Microsoft with a iTunes competing platform for selling music? (And lets face it, there is no iTunes competitor that is even remotely in the league of iTunes).
  • by tdeuces ( 957421 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2006 @09:30PM (#14968848) Homepage
    Article's comparison reminds of a conversation on the Simpson's:

    Lenny: If you ask me, Muhammad Ali in his prime, was much better than anti-lock brakes.
    Carl: Yeah, but what about Johnny Mathis versus diet pepsi?
    Moe: Oh, I cannot listen to this again!
  • 1. Make xBoxLive Popular
    2. Invest in MSFT stock
    4. Profit!

    Unfortunately, each song downloaded for the iPod is 99 cents, of which only 5 cents goes elsewhere, so it's way more likely that Apple will make a lot more money from iPod music usage than Microsoft will make money from the higher-cost, lower-revenue xBoxLive service.

    Ask yourself - how many people with iPods use Apple's music service?

    And how many people with xBox's use xBoxLive?

    I have an xBox and I don't use it.
    • Yes! Statistical Evidence with a sampling size of ONE!

      You've sold me, sir! Clearly no one with an XBOX uses XBL.

      • I didn't say noone with an xBox uses xBoxLive, I said it's more on the order of 10 percent.

        However, I also didn't claim my t size was that big, nor that it had statistical significance.
    • I would guess that more people with an Xbox use XBL than people with ipods that purchase songs on Itunes. I have a sampling of about 5 people that I have actually met and all 5 + me use XBL, only 2 out of the 6 use itunes. In terms of revenue ... all 6 pay $50 a year for XBL so ....... the 2 that use itunes each have to buy 150 song to generate equal revenue ..... not sure what that means for each service but it would seem to me that XBL has better margins.
      • So, all six of you have iPods? If only 2 have iPods and those 2 use Apple for songs, then they have 100 percent penetration in your group.

        Thus, it's possible that your group has more xBoxLive - but couldn't this be an observation altered by the very simple fact that it's your friends, and they all want to play games together?

        Sometimes, my son and I play online with our neighbors, joining games, but we do that with our Mac and PC logins.

        Thus, just as my circle of friends has noone who has xBoxLive, but have
    • "each song downloaded for the iPod is 99 cents, of which only 5 cents goes elsewhere"

      Are you absolutely certain about this? Because my brother's band get around 40p of the 79p that the UK version of iTMS sell their tracks for, and that's after the taxman and their record company have had their shares as well.
      • Hmmm. I'm very glad your brother gets 40 pence of the 79 pence cost in the UK. However, having lived in Canada myself, where British music is popular, I believe I may be correct in stating that the renumeration rate for music is likely higher in the UK for artists than it is in the USA, where it typically is less than 10 cents for a 99 cent song.

        Very popular artists demand higher cuts here, while unknown and starting artists get a lot less.
        • That may well be the case. I'd expect that it's the record company keeping a higher rate, rather than Apple, however. Undertheigloo use the AWAL (Artists Without A Label) service to get on iTunes, and so their royalty rate is much higher than if they were signed with a major, but I can't see those majors agreeing to a smaller cut from Apple than the indies get.
    • Actually, there was a breakdown of where the money went, and its somewhere along the lines of 9 cents to Apple's expenses for getting the song to you (bandwidth, server, itunes programming), 1-2 cents profit, rest goes to the record label (who then pays the band). Apple makes negligable money off the iTunes music store (1 cent * 1,000,000,000 = 10 million profit). All the profit is made on iPods (40,000,000 sold this year @ at least 100 dollars profit = at least 4 billion dollars profit).
    • Ask yourself - how many people with iPods use Apple's music service?

      And how many people with xBox's use xBoxLive?

      I have an xBox and I don't use it.

      I have an iPod and I don't use iTunes.

      You're not proving anything.
  • Sure MS got that many downloads. A lot of them were free. Like movie trailers, game demos, and tutorials on how to use the XBox 360.

    I just think it's sad that MS keeps speweing out this FUD because they have no chance of catching up to the iPod.

  • were updates and bugfixes? Hey I can create my own popular portal by making crappy games.
  • And in other news, the Beatles are more popular than Jesus. But seriously, with free Xbox Live on the weekends (unless I'm horribly misinformed), I think the download rate might rival that of iTunes, at least per month.
  • In a related story, the Orange Industry of Florida declared "Oranges More Popular than Apple."
  • by thedletterman ( 926787 ) <> on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @06:38AM (#14970447) Homepage
    So how many of those downloads were bug fixes?
  • No doubt Microsoft is including things like free trailers and game demos, or evaluation versions of Live Arcade games. When Apple says "10 million downloads", it's another way of saying "10 million things sold". If they included all the things they deliver for free ('s movie trailer section, Quicktime/iTunes software downloads, patches, etc), I'm sure the number would be staggeringly large.
  • I hope you realize this is a joke comment, not to be taken seriously by you overly analytical geeks.
  • Richest kid wins? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by neumayr ( 819083 )

    Alright, so you can buy yourself some kick-ass car and rock at Project Gotham?

    Oh well, skills are overrated anyways..

  • but will XBL downloads reach a plateau sooner?
  • Check out the discussions on the Xbox site, apparently the March update has been trashing thousands of units and Microsoft can't replace them fast enough.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.