update: we ve been techmeme-d :)

Asymco is reporting that iOS users are downloading apps at a very fast rate (17.5 million apps a day are downloaded!) and that soon  (this year probably)the total number of apps will overtake the total number of songs downloaded from iTunes (currently downloaded 7.5 million times a day)


We believe those numbers, although impressive (specially when you know the music catalog is way bigger than the app catalog – millions vs 250ks) are not really surprising

  • Apps are the new ringtones and the new wallpapers: as, you only add ringtones and wallpapers (and phone skins) to personalize your phone experience. But apps is the new way (and the best way) to do that. They are in a way the new music playlist (this is why we created appmixes)
  • Apps are driving attention away from music: until recently music was mainly the only way to get entertained on your phone. Apps take that attention away. Specially games and social networks. The iPhone make this easy to happen with the plethora of quality apps
  • Unlike music you find FREE apps: Free apps are the most downloaded and although they are not the most represented in the App Store. Free is a big driver to download. [note that music has try-before-you-buy with preview of 30secs, but i am not sure this match the compelling FREE advantage of apps]
  • Apps as substitute to music download: Pandora,, Deezer,  Spotify, MOG, Rdio are apps that bring unlimited free/all you can eat music streaming. They become strong alternative to music downloads 
  • Apps are music: many apps are wappers for albums or music/artist music distribution (eg: this lady gaga app  or katy perry lyrics+songs app) and provide rich alternative to pure/simple songs
  • Games are music: many games are wrappers for music distribution. Take Katy Perry Revenge, or Lyric Legend . Many iOS users will be exposed to a trade off whether to get pure songs or songs within games, which are a new form of music wrapper
We believe in general those are good reasons why Apps are overtaking music. Maybe there are more?

What do you say?

ps: in case you asked like us asymco tell us that his sources are “official statement made by Apple Management executives”. That is lots of statements, but good job at gathering them!

update: some reader suggested that downloading a full album takes more time than downloading most apps (except rich games maybe, but not necessarily). Good point. Getting an app is faster and less painful than a song. If you download lots of songs.