–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 namesJosh 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!