Update Apple's online Music Store sold around 275,000 tracks during its first 18 hours of operation, Billboard magazine's online news service has claimed.
That works out at over four tracks sold every second. Now, Apple is charging punters 99 cents per track. It would be interesting to know how much of that goes to artists (performers and composers), how much to the labels and how much is left to Apple.
We'll probably never know exactly. However, according to this CNN article, the retailer's take on a typical $16.98/£11.61 CD works out at $6.23/£4.26 - 36.7 per cent of the retail price. That means (very roughly) Apple's getting around 36 cents a track. Of course, there are costs associated with CD shipments that aren't an issue with online sales - such as distribution and packaging costs, to name but two. Apple may be benefiting from the absence of these costs, or the labels may be. More likely it will differ from label to label, but our unscientific, just-for-fun figure gives you a rough idea.
Indeed, since we originally posted this story, many readers have pointed out a recent Forbes article stating Apple takes on average 35 cents for each track it sells - so our guestimate's not so far off.
On that basis, Apple added $99,000 to its Q3 revenue tally during the first 18 hours the Music Store was open to the public. If it can keep that up throughout the quarter, it will make a significant, multi-million dollar contribution to the company's bottom line (though its own costs of sale have yet to be deducted). It's not a patch on hardware revenues, but every little bit helps in these tough times.
Billboard bases the claim for the number of Music Store tracks sold on comment from sources within major music labels. It also alleges that at least two labels have signed up for Apple's upcoming Windows version of Music Store. We'd have thought Apple would have built such a licence into its agreement with the labels from the word go, but maybe that's not the case. ®