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April 26, 2013

Happy Tenth Birthday to the iTunes Store

By Brittany Walters-Bearden, TMCnet Contributor

It may be hard to believe, but the iTunes store is turning ten on the April 28. While most people can’t imagine their lives without iTunes, it is even harder to imagine that it has been around for a decade.

 Apple (News - Alert) is saying “Happy Birthday” to iTunes by making a special music tab that shows the history of iTunes since its conception on April 28, 2003. The “A Decade of iTunes” tab shows the best-selling songs and albums for each year. In February, Apple announced that 25 billion songs had been downloaded from iTunes.

Just as an infant learns to crawl before they can walk, Apple originally offered only music downloads when it first started. Priced at .99 cents each, iTunes debuted with 200,000 songs.

Two years later, podcasts were made available to customers on iTunes, followed by movies a year later and, then, iTunes U two years after that. When the iPhone (News - Alert) 3G went on sale in 2008, the App Store was launched in July with a mere 500 apps. In January, GigaOm reported that 40 billion apps had been downloaded. Now, iBookstore has over 1.5 million books.

According to Canoe, iTunes accounts for 63 percent of all legal downloads of music, followed by Amazon, which has 22 percent of the market share, just over one-third of the market share that iTunes has. Today, Canoe says, there are 26 million songs on iTunes—a far cry from their original 200,000—and there are over 400 million active users of the service, located in 119 countries worldwide.

At ten years old, iTunes shows no signs of slowing down. Amazon has been making bold moves with its services, such as being the exclusive streaming service for Downton Abbey’s past, present, and future, so if it takes a similar approach to music, there may be a battle brewing in the future, but, at this stage, iTunes has many birthdays to come.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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