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Apple’s iTunes gravy train is coming to an end

Apple iTunes

Facing competition from all angles, Apple has seen its share of the video sales and rental market fall drastically in recent years. According to a new report from The Wall Street JournalApple’s iTunes property now accounts for anywhere between 20 and 35% of all video sales and rentals, a precipitous decline from the 50% market share it enjoyed just five years ago.

Intruding upon Apple’s market share are the usual suspects, with Amazon in particular now accounting for 20% of the market. What’s more, Comcast has also been able to make significant inroads insofar as it offers subscribers with easy access to both video rentals and purchases. All told, Comcast’s share of the video sales and rental market is believed to be in the 15% range. So while business from iTunes is still relatively healthy, the landscape seems to be changing rather quickly.

Undoubtedly, the proliferation of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have also had a discernible impact on Apple’s iTunes business. Say, for example, that a viewer is interested in catching up on ABC’s hit show Scandal. Years ago, this viewer wouldn’t have many options and would have to either purchase the DVDs or purchase individual episodes via iTunes. In 2017, the options are much more varied as viewers today can stream the entire series on Netflix and watch episodes on-demand via their cable provider. And in instances where on-demand options are limited, companies like Comcast are making it increasingly more convenient for users to purchase content right from the comfort of their own couch.

Looking ahead, there will hopefully be some interesting changes coming to Apple’s entertainment business. iTunes rentals and purchases aside, it remains to be seen if Apple will eventually roll out original content that can compete with what companies like Netflix, HBO and Amazon are already churning out. While Apple’s current efforts have been lackluster to say the least — with Planet of the Apps being a prime offender — Apple recently hired two seasoned Sony executives who were responsible for bringing Breaking Bad to the masses.

If anything, Apple’s TV initiatives — at this point — truly have nowhere to go but up.

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.