Congratulations iTunes

Published: March 2nd 2010

iTunes logo
Pic: WikiMedia Commons
The iTunes counter announcing the 10 billionth download

Apple launched the iTunes Music Store for the first time in the US in April of 2003. By the end of that year, Apple had sold more than 25 million songs. Three years later, on February 2006, business was still a booming and sales reached one billion. Now, seven years since iTunes' debut, another achievement was reached: 10 billion songs sold. Amazing and even more so if you recall that it was only a while ago Apple was celebrating crossing the five billion songs sold barrier. Only several days ago Apple’s song download counter hit the mark, something it has been counting down to for the last two weeks.


The tenth billion song was sold on February 24 which happens to be Steve Jobs’, Apple's well famous CEO's birthday. The 10 billionth song, "Guess Things Happen That Way" by Johnny Cash, was downloaded by Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia. As the winner on Apple’s 10 Billion Songs Countdown contest, Louie will receive a $10,000 iTunes Gift Card, which can buy some 7000 of the hottest songs, or 14,500-20,000 songs on sale. Simply put, plenty. The card can also be used to buy IPhone apps from the app store. 


The iTunes online music store is considered one of the "saviors" of the music industry: it revolutionized the entire industry and the way we consume music. Moreover, it has been the first online store which reached such widespread sales and thus, made all label companies shift their activities to the Internet. The sales increased rapidly and constantly and on the last quarter, Apple made a hefty profit of 520$ million from songs sold.


"This has been the birth of legal downloading," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, when it was first launched in 2003. "We are going to fight illegal downloading by competing with it. We aren't going to sue it. We're not going to ignore it. We're going to compete with it. With iTunes you are supporting artists. You’re not stealing. It’s good karma". Clearly, it is good karma. Especially for Apple which has used the store to become America's number one music vendor in a short time.


To celebrate the milestone, Apple published the all-time bestsellers in the store's history. Leading in the top of the list, is the song, "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas, who also took third place with "Boom Boom Pow". Between them, in second place you can find "Poker Face" by the provocative Lady Gaga. In fourth place, "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz and in fifth place "Viva la Vida" by the British band Coldplay.


But this isn't Apple's only milestone lately. Only a month ago, the app store (Apple's online application store) passed three billion downloads, a huge feat, particularly when you consider that the app store is younger than iTunes.


In conclusion, that's billions in revenue that iTunes has generated for the entire music industry, but also billions that Apple has done for itself and while competitors came up, none have even reached Apple's dominance. "Guess Things Happen That Way" indeed.

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