Happy 10th Birthday iTunes Store

Jasmina Lozevska April 27, 2013 1


It looks like it was just yesterday that this iTunes store was announced to the public. And I can’t even remember the time when we were without this service. Apple’s big store is heading towards their second life decade and as it seems they are enjoying the best time beside the competition.

It’s the 2003 spring period, Apple is still making their way to fight through the early stages of what later became the biggest comeback in the history of this business. Steve Jobs, who had made his return to Apple 6 years earlier had taken steps for making changes in the company. He killed some product lines, made a contribution for taking Apple’s attention the colorful iMacs and in that period Apple opened retailer stores which back then it seemed like a crazy idea.

In 2001, Apple had released the iPod, which was the brightest spot back then. The skeptics graded this product below average but the public didn’t care. They want it in their hands and pockets. It was priced at $399 and back then it was a price twice as more from the prices of the other CD players. This iPod required a Mac in order users could load it up with different music. This made the users even buy a Mac just so rip their CDs and stuff the music in their back pockets.

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Steve Jobs wanted something even more. He wanted the music itself. Because of the big sales of the iPods and even more sales of the Music CDs, this led up to the iTunes store creation. This decision has shaken up the world and made a big fortune for Apple. Very fast, this platform becomes a crucial part of every business in Apple. This thing fueled up much more sales of the iPads and the iPhones. Soon enough, it becomes the fourth largest division in Apple, and this previous quarter accounted $2.4 billion alone.

This period, led by Tim Cook, all the rivals like Google and Amazon are trying even harder to pull the attention of all Apple’s costumers. This comes as an addition, when Apple has so many problems keeping this service on top with so many other competitors are ready to weaken their digital stranglehold.

But Apple didn’t get its big success overnight. When iTunes debuted, the market share in PCs has been stuck to 2% worldwide. Jobs had some smooth salesmanship but as it seemed back then, he struggled to get all the retailers to stock the computers. But in meantime, the world lacked some Mp3 players and music stores which are online based. When the iPod came up, Creative Labs was the only company who was in the market for less than two years. Back then, neither rival figured this software part and neither of them has even tried to create a place from where you can buy music.

Jobs have said that they have used the small market share for their advantage and if this service turns out to be destructive in future it wouldn’t be able to destroy the whole universe. Apple has included Warner Music which was the first of the labels who came on board and then they began to share the idea to the rest of them. The biggest victory was celebrated when Sony jumped on board with its own store for digital music called Pressplay and MP3 players. Sony has made their music library available right through the Apple Store.

The launching happened at a Macworld conference, which was scheduled for the press just to unveil the store three months after Apple updated every other service and product out there. At the time when it was unveiled, Jobs took lot of criticism and brought the piracy to a very hard task. The store has started with 200,000 tracks and 99 cents per song. Since then the library updated the number with more than 35 million songs. The big deal back than wasn’t the library, it was the browsing and buying those songs. At first, Apple has offered song previews and the consumers could buy only the song but not the entire album. But this was meaningful because the music was in their possession either way.

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In the first week, iTunes has sold 1 million tracks. Only six weeks later, Apple updated their game and brought the iTunes all the way to Windows and by that they significantly increased their market. So, someone brought the question how dominant is this store from Apple? – Well, according to some studies 8 from 10 songs were purchased from iTunes, in these past three months. Apple noticed 63% share of the whole music market which is paid of course.

Just for comparison we’ve made a chart which shows interesting thing:

  • In May 2003, iTunes sold 1,000,000 songs
  • In December 2003, iTunes sold 25,000,000 songs
  • In December 2004, iTunes sold 200,000,000 songs
  • In February 2006, iTunes sold 1,000,000,000 songs
  • In June 2008, iTunes sold 5,000,000,000 songs
  • In February 2013, iTunes sold 25,000,000,000 songs

See the difference?

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