–Dan Kelly, Attorney
You may have heard the news that iTunes has hit the 10 billion (with a “b”) mark in number of songs downloaded. Sales began in 2003. That’s an average pace of more than 1.4 billion downloads a year. Considering that a typical single song retails for $0.99 on iTunes (likely higher than average price, as many albums with more than ten songs go for $9.99), I thought, “Wow, that’s about $10 billion in sales!” Well, yes and no. It’s only $9.9 billion in sales–$100 million short of $10 billion. I sometimes tend to think that one decimal place, one hundredth, is “close,” and in a sense, $9.9 billion is close to $10 billion. In another sense, $100 million is a lot of money standing on its own.
This reminds me of a point made at a trademark infringement trial a few years ago. A lawyer (not me) asked a business owner whether a production cost difference of a few pennies per piece part was a big deal–hoping to make the point that it was insubstantial. The owner replied, “It’s a big deal when I’m ordering hundreds of thousands of parts.” All of this, of course, is not new. I recall learning about economies of scale in my 10th grade Economics class, though the lesson obviously continues to impress.
But here is another big number to consider: the folks over at FairWinds recently discovered a company that was losing 47 million initial web impressions to typosquatting domain names. Josh Bourne has a recent post at the Domain Name Strategy blog discussing this and some related SEO (search engine optimization) issues, and it is worth a read.
Pay attention to how those little things add up!