iTunes Store rocks out with 8.5B downloads

Ronny Kerr · September 9, 2009 · Short URL:

Apple event reminds everyone that iTunes is the #1 music retailer in the world

Today, Apple’s yearly iPod event kicked off with a quite suitable Rolling Stones lick: “It’s only rock and roll, but we like it.”

rock & roll

And what is there not to like?

Since its launch in 2003 (originally called the iTunes Music Store), the iTunes Store has seen 8.5 billion songs downloaded from its platform. With numbers like those, iTunes is undeniably the #1 music retailer in the world. Combine that with the fact that over 100,000,000 accounts are registered on the service, and it’s easy to conclude that iTunes is one of the biggest retailers on the Web, period.

Of course, the iTunes Store couldn’t have done that well without the iPod. Having sold over 220 million iPods to date, Apple retains 73.8% of the MP3 player market share in the United States. With almost half of those being iPod nano sales (over 100 million sold), the nano asserts itself anew as the most popular MP3 player out there. Hoping to reinforce the nano’s #1 status, Apple is adding a built-in video camera to the device.

Then there are the latest additions to the iPod family: Apple has sold 30 million iPhones and 20 million iPod touches to date. Quickly rivaling iTunes music sales, the App Store has seen about 1.8 billion downloads of its 75,000 apps.

After announcing those hefty numbers, Apple said it would be making OS 3.1 available for both iPhones and iPod touches today. The coolest part of the upgrade is the ability to turn on the ‘Genius’ feature in the App Store, which will recommend new apps based on previously downloaded apps.
iTunes LP
iTunes is also getting a considerable update. In iTunes 9, iPhone and iPod touch users will be able to easily customize and organize all the apps on their devices. The music collection software will also be trying to look more like a music collection with the addition of iTunes LP, Apple’s effort to digitally replicate the aesthetic experience of holding and flipping through a vinyl or CD.

While none of these updates are particularly monumental, today’s Apple event reminds everyone that music sales are not dead; they’ve just moved online. With its iTunes Store holding onto the #1 music retailer title, Apple is lighting the way forward (and I’m still wondering why we can’t download the Beatles).

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