iTunes Store Tops Three Billion Songs

The iTunes Store said Tuesday it had passed a milestone, selling more than 3 billion songs since launching four years ago. The milestone came just six months after iTunes, Apple Inc.'s online music download service, surpassed the 2 billion tracks-sold mark. The service launched in April 2003 and it took until February 2006 to sell its first 1 billion songs.

In the first quarter of this year, it was ranked the third-biggest overall music retailer in the U.S., behind No. 1 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co., according to consumer surveys by The NPD Group. The ranking was based on units sold, not revenue from sales, and counted every 12 tracks purchased online as equivalent to an album in compact disc format. Apple's line of iPod portable music players has been key to iTunes' popularity.

News source: SiliconValley.com
View: Press Release on Apple.com

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14 Comments

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I think the stats are staggering and hats off to Apple for it. But if they were 3rd to Walmart in the last quarter, how many CD's were Walmart selling?! - I wouldn't worry about losing the compact disc just yet. I can see DVD Audio becoming more popular as the record companies attempt to cash in on multimedia discs that haven't really taken off so far on the CD format however.

I don't own an Ipod so I can't comment on how well Itunes performes. I do have an N91 which does the job just fine (in conjunction with WMP11) and saves me carrying another device but I wouldn't say that I listened to mp3's all that often on the move. The days of the original bad boy - Napster, are long gone of course but I tend to buy CD's cheaply over the net and then transfer them. There's still a kind of romance/responsibility in owning something tangible and it's instantly good for archive. Also, no-one can stop you lending CD's to your mate/s hundreds of times over at no extra charge and the RIAA won't be snooping around my PC either.

I for one won't be contributing to that number until "iTunes Plus" replaces all the 128/DRM tracks and becomes more affordable. In Australia, it's cheaper to buy CD's than it is to buy DRM-free albums from iTunes.

Well, if the trend continues, it'll hit 4 billion sometime around November this year, 6 billion around April next year and 10 billion in December. That's assuming that the almost exponential growth its currently showing continues (which is unlikely)...

and just think if those 'deceased' and 'old grandma's' that the RIAA charged with 'Pirating'....didn't download...they could have reach 4 billion....

I have never downloaded a single track from the store but I do use it to find new music all the time. Their selection is fantastic and it allows me to find new musicians that I normally would never hear. Do they ave "everything?" No, but they have enough...

It's nearly dead now. Didn't you notice it's (RIAA-simulated) whimpering and it's pleas for usage?

NOTE: Unauthorised usage of your CD without prior written authorization from Das RIAA-Fuhrer is forbidden.

When/if CDs are no longer available is the day I quit buying music all together. Online music purchase is nice in some ways but the quality sucks whether it has DRM or not.

MrCobra said,
When/if CDs are no longer available is the day I quit buying music all together. Online music purchase is nice in some ways but the quality sucks whether it has DRM or not.

i pretty much agree with you for the most part. cause with itunes 128kbps/drm bs those songs aint worth .50cents TOPS per song.

cause .99cents per song is somewhat expensive considering u could basically just buy the real cd for the price they want.... cause if u figure about 15songs per album that would be basically 15 dollars... for that price i would rather just buy the real cd cause u get higher quality music plus the artwork etc and then u can just rip it to mp3's yourself like "the scene" does and thats using EAC + LAME = great sounding mp3's much better than the 128kbps crap that itunes has. 128 aint bad, but it aint worth paying for (atleast not @ .99cents per song).... 192kbps is min i would even consider buying... but i still prefer the scene releases (avg bit rate generally around 192kbps but peaks @ 320kbps at times when needed) as there as high quality as your going to get while keeping the file size reasonable without getting the real cd... plus with DRM in those itunes crap it makes it even more of a reason not to use it, as u cant just burn to a cd etc etc like u can with "normal" mp3's.

either way it's a shame most music sales the artist dont see much of it... so thats another big reason i rarely buy cd's anymore... cause i aint going to support those greedy pricks at the RIAA/MPAA etc.

I have yet to find a player that has the functionality, straight forward GUI, and user "easability" that itunes has. Granted itunes is a little hefty on the ram usage side, but you know what you get when you use it. I don't own an ipod because I have a Windows Mobile Smartphone that I can copy the tunes right from the library to the memory card without too much effort. I have to say that the itunes store is getting better every day, and the security seems to be okay and hopefully we'll see more artists and maybe just maybe "when pigs fly" The Beatles catalog available for download.

Keep up the good work Apple and I'll continue to buy the tunes from the ITMS.

Well, to each their own. I personally HATE iTunes. Unfortunately, I'm stuck with it since I just bought a mac and my player of choice (amarok) doesn't play very nice in OSX.

I do agree that iTunes is very easy to use and Apple has done a great job at that and the music store.