With over 6 billion songs downloaded from Itunes, and over 17 million iPhone sales, there is a lot of good reason to sell music in Itunes. Until recently it was not possible to purchase music from Itunes with an iPhone unless you were connected to a Wifi network, but Apple has now allowed iPhone users to purchase music on their phones over the 3G network.
Youtube was previously allowing videos from record companies, so if you wanted to hear a track, you could simply Google the song and the artist and you would find a decent enough version of the song that you could listen to on YouTube. For various reasons, Youtube decided that it didn’t want to have this content anymore and pulled it from the site. So now, if you were to search for a track, you may find a live version or a version filmed on a phone that someone has posted, but it’s really difficult sometimes to find a decent audio version.
Myspace and many of the other sites (last.fm, etc.) can be good places to stream and find the song you are looking for, but sometimes you just cant find the tracks you want, at decent enough quality and also cant easily save them to your computer. All of this seems to be leading many people back to Itunes because they can purchase music quickly and conveniently from a place that they trust.
Some artists don’t want to sell music on Itunes because they don’t like selling single tracks. I recently heard about once band that put up their music on Itunes. They uploaded approximately 10 tracks and then watched to see what happened. They noticed that three tracks in particular were getting most of the attention. From this, they were able to make the decision to then put money behind those three tracks and start promoting those because they knew that these ones were the songs most liked.
They put together a campaign around the most popular track, releasing it as a single. They made a video and also ran some contests for their fans. I think they bundled the video with some tracks and then sold it on Itunes too. This is a huge advantage of the single-track approach.
You can use Itunes to really get a feel for what people like instead of speculating. This allows the artist to really focus their resources on campaigns that are more likely to be profitable.