While iTunes has exploded into popularity, could 2007 be the last year of the upward trend and growth? Forrester Research just released a report, and from the looks of it, 2007 will probably in fact be the last big year for iTunes as well as other services that sell TV shows and other video content online.
The numbers so far have been astounding. In 2006, sales of movie and television shows from paying services like iTunes brought in an estimated $98 million. For 2007, it’s expected to triple to $279 million!
So, why would iTunes and other services like it start heading downhill? If you think about it, it’s obvious. Free services that are ad supported are popping up everywhere. Because they’re free, they’re already starting to become popular, and as they become better, they’ll just draw in more users.
The study that Forrester Research did shows that no growth is expected in 2008 for paid services. Some TV networks already offer some of their shows online for free, and others are in the process of taking on the same route.
When you can choose between purchasing TV shows and videos or seeing them for free, how many of you are willing to spend the money and take the first choice? For the general population, probably not many.
PCMag.com went as far as saying that the for-pay services like iTunes will die, that they won’t be able to withstand the free competition. However, for something like that to happen, I think it’ll take a lot longer than one year of no growth. I’m sure iTunes will lose popularity for video and TV show downloads, but not THAT fast.