Apple had a lot to celebrate Wednesday, with the iTunes Store passing a major milestone by surpassing its 25 billionth download.
That number becomes even more impressive when you realize that, even though the Store has been around for nearly a decade, two thirds of the songs sold have come in the past three and half years.
“We are grateful to our users whose passion for music over the past 10 years has made iTunes the number one music retailer in the world,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said in a statement.“Averaging over 15,000 songs downloaded per minute, the iTunes Store connects music fans with their favorite artists, including global sensations like Adele and Coldplay and new artists like The Lumineers, on a scale we never imagined possible.”
In case you were wondering, the 25 billionth song was “Monkey Drums” (Goksel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch, and it was purchased by Phillip Lüpke from Germany. In a nice gesture by Apple, Lüpke is being given a €10,000 iTunes Gift Card.
History of the iTunes Store
The iTunes store was launched less than a decade ago, and the majority of its downloads have come in only the last few years, showing just how much the Store has grown in that time.
Apple debuted iTunes in January 2001. At first it was exclusively a service for Mac users to rip songs off of CDs and turn them into MP3s. The iTunes store did not officially launch until April 2003, and even then it was still only available on the Mac. Windows would not get iTunes until October 2003.
On its the first anniversary of the iTunes store, in April 2004, Apple announced that it had sold over 70 million songs, and number that reached over 150 million by October 2004. Only two months later, in December 2004. it was 200 million and only a month after that it reached a quarter billion songs sold.
By September 2009, after being in existance for six years, iTunes had sold 8.5 billion songs. While that is impressive, consider that in the three and half years since then, the service has sold 16.5 billion songs. That is 66% of the total number sold coming in less than half of its existence.
The iTunes Store as a catalog of over 26 million songs and is available in 119 countries.
Apple’s iTunes maintains a 64% market share of all U.S. digital music downloads, according to a September report from NPD Group, but it does just dominate with song downloads. Apple recently made the announcement that it had topped 40 billion downloads in the App Store, with nearly 20 billion of them in 2012, and two billion of them in December alone. That is compared to Google Play, which celebrated reaching 25 billion downloaded apps in September.
(Image source: http://www.underconsideration.com)