Like anyone in the record and music industries, you’ve probably wondered to yourself how much it costs to run iTunes. Well, you’re not alone. According to the app developer and industry analysis site Asymco, iTunes is approaching an overhead of nearly $1 billion a year.
…Keep in mind, Apple boasts more than 160 million users around the globe. At Apple’s recent music press conference, Steve Jobs explained that around 450 million TV episodes have been downloaded, along with 100 million movies, 35 million books, and close to 12 billion songs across 23 countries. What’s more, users are downloading some 17 million apps per day, and that number is growing. Asymco estimates that if this rate continues apps will outsell music downloads by the end of the year.
Fortunately for Apple, whiles those sales might be weighing down on iTunes operational costs, their more than making up in revenue from the $1 billion burden on servers. However, such high costs for a download store may provide some clues into why Apple has hesitated to switch to the cloud. A streaming service might be just too expensive to maintain.