We all knew that iTunes was the leading online music store, getting more customers than other destinations like 7Digital or Amazon’s music store but Apple’s recent announcement declared that iTunes is now leading over physical retail outlets for music sales in the US, beating large retail chain Walmart.
Since its launch in 2004, Apple iTunes now has over 50 million customers who have downloaded over 4 billion songs from the catalogue of 6 million-plus songs.
ITunes was slightly later launching in Ireland and came here in January 2005 after Apple reached an agreement with the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO), which had delayed the launch several months after the rest of Europe.
“We launched iTunes less than five years ago, and it has now become the No 1 music retailer in the world,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice-president of iTunes.
“We are thrilled, and would like to thank all of our customers for helping us reach this incredible milestone.”
While iTunes has always held firm on its download model, where customers paid per song or per album download, recent rumours suggest that Apple may be considering an all-access, free music service in association with some of its music devices like the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Subscription models are currently used by companies like Nokia, Yahoo!, Napster and Virgin Music and come in three flavours: listening only; downloadable to certain devices; and the option to ‘own’ the tracks permanently as opposed to some services that end access to your music collection as soon as your subscription runs out.
By Marie Boran