NEW YORK: Apple Computer announced Thursday its iTunes Music Store has sold one-billionth song — in less than three years of its debut in the online music market.
The song, Coldplay’s Speed of Sound, was downloaded by 16-year-old Alex Ostrovsky of West Bloomfield, Michigan. In reward, Apple is to present him with a 20-inch iMac, 10 iPods and a $10,000 in gift card that can be used to buy any item at the iTunes Music Store.
Adjudged as the world’s most-visited online music store, iTunes is the first e-store to break into the top 10 ranks of music retailers. It is estimated to have 80 per cent of worldwide market share and in 2005, its traffic had grown by a phenomenal 241 per cent, from 6.1 million to 20.7 million, according to Nielsen NetRatings.
Ostrovsky , who has not been a frequenter at the iTunes store, said he must have downloaded around 50 songs. He was more of a borrower of music CDs from his friends. “I’m certainly going to download more songs now,” he said.
Apple has announced that it will set up a scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music in New York in Ostrovsky’s name to mark the occasion. The company has posted a ‘thank you’ announcement at its website, saying, “Music lovers like you in 21 countries around the globe have purchased 1 billion songs from the iTunes Music Store. And for helping us reach this massive milestone in digital music history, we’d like to thank you.”
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement: “I hope that every customer, artist and music company executive takes a moment today to reflect on what we’ve achieved together during the past three years. Over 1 billion songs have now been legally purchased and downloaded around the globe, representing a major force against music piracy and the future of music distribution as we move from CDs to the Internet.”
The company has been awarding a black 4GB iPod nano and $100 worth of coupons to every fan downloading 100,000th music.
Globally, digital music sales constitute only 6 per cent of overall music sales, but they grew from $220 million to $790 million in a year.