Apple is claiming first blood as music fans purchased and downloaded 1.5m songs from its iTunes music store during the same period that Napster reported selling 300,000 songs during its first week back in business.
According to Apple, more than 17m songs have been purchased and downloaded from the iTunes music store since it launched in the US in April. Figures from NielsenSoundScan show that the iTunes music store had more than 80pc market share of legally purchased downloads last week.
While Apple’s iTunes music store is only available in North America at present, a spokesman for Apple in Ireland said that the company is committed to launching iTunes in Europe next year, citing copyright and legal issues rather than technology issues as the reason behind the delay.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO commented: “During Napster’s first week of operation, the iTunes Music Store sold five times as many songs as Napster did — 1.5 million versus 300,000.”
He added: “The unbeatable combination of iPod and iTunes offers music lovers a seamless experience for buying, managing and listening to their digital music collections anywhere.”
The iTunes Music Store offers Windows users the same online music store as Mac users with the same music catalogue of more than 400,000 songs, at 99 cents-per-song pricing for music from all five major music companies and more than 200 independent music labels.
By John Kennedy
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