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Music Businesses Media Media (Apple) Toys Apple

iTunes Sells 500 Millionth Song 271

TJPile writes "Apple's iTunes Music Store can now say half a billion served. One look at Apple's front page says it all. Sunday, at 2:44PM EST, Amy Greer of Lafayette, Indiana bought Faith Hill's Mississippi Girl to win."
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iTunes Sells 500 Millionth Song

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2005 @07:17AM (#13092408)

    If I knew that the 500 millionth iTunes song purchase was coming up soon, I would at least have the decency of buying a good song.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2005 @07:21AM (#13092434)
    Sorry, but this is the obligatory gripe about the non-existence of an Australian iTunes Music Store.
  • Hasn't... (Score:5, Funny)

    by dreemernj ( 859414 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @07:22AM (#13092440) Homepage Journal
    Hasn't anyone patented 'the display of multiple round numbers in celebration of sales achievement' yet? McDonalds should get on that.
  • For me it still says "Open 24/7 on Macs and Windows PCs, the iTunes Music Store has become a smash hit, with music fans purchasing over 430 million songs worldwide to date."
  • Time line (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stoney27 ( 36372 ) * on Monday July 18, 2005 @07:26AM (#13092459) Homepage
    If you look at the time line on the right side of the article page. It was just a little over a year ago that iTMS sold it's 100 Million song and now they are at half a Billion, 400 Million songs in just one year. I think that's amazing.

    I know Uber users complain about the DRM but I can tell you that most people, just don't care. They have their songs they can burn them to CD put them on their iPods. That's about all most people want to do.

    • I know Uber users complain about the DRM but I can tell you that most people, just don't care. They have their songs they can burn them to CD put them on their iPods. That's about all most people want to do.

      OMG wtf, I want to be able to reencode my DRM-crapified files into multiplexed OGG Vorbis (and then to FLAC as I please) and put them on my iRiver and Creative Zen players which I bought because the iPod is such a fashion accessory. So no, the iTMS is NOT good enough for me and never WILL be good enou
      • put them on my iRiver and Creative Zen players which I bought because the iPod is such a fashion accessory.

        Not everyone buys iPod for looks.

        I have one but I don't show it to people, nor do I use the white earbuds. I tried using Zens and iRivers on several occasions but they were harder to use than they had to be. The Nomad Zen is larger (IIRC, twice the physical volume) and heavier than same capacity iPod too.
      • Re:Time line (Score:3, Informative)

        by stoney27 ( 36372 ) *
        Yes but I think since you dropped all those acronyms it would put you in the Uber column.

        My brother who just got an iPod shuffle is an Electrical engineer and he would have no idea what OGG Vorbis is or why he would want to encode to FLAC. All he wants is something he can put songs on to so he can play music when he works out. So I think there is just a small minority that just likes to complain that they can't do everything with the music. Besides what is stopping you from burning the music to CD and t
    • That's not entirely true. My girlfriend is not a techie at all, but she now hates Napster since all of "her" songs expired and don't work, and she's irritated at iTunes since she keeps bumping into the 5 computer limit, between her hardware upgrades/repairs and sharing with me. She may still not know the word "DRM," but she does know that she doesn't like it. Still at least the iTunes DRM is semi-unobnoxious, so at least we can put up with it, but it's nice to dream of a day when we won't have to use any at
      • I can see that happening on the sharing limit and such. I am at four of five computers, that is two home computers, a work computer, and my sister's computer. At least there is supposedly a way to reset the authenticated computers, I've heard of people doing it.
        • It's a button in your iTunes profile-- click on your email address (upper right) when inside iTunes to go there.

          Or you can e-mail their support people.
      • ...iTunes since she keeps bumping into the 5 computer limit, between her hardware upgrades/repairs and sharing with me.

        Yea I would have to agree that the 5 computer limit is the one area that I think Apple should improve on. We run into this at our house we have 4 people and 6 Mac in the house. So either I can share my music with one of the computers and I also share my music with my other computer at work. Of course this not Apple as much as what they had to work with in getting the content providers
    • Too true..

      I made the mistake of introducing my wife to MP3 players and iTunes. Last year we spent more than 10x on music than we ever have before.
  • Freebies? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sparr0 ( 451780 ) <> on Monday July 18, 2005 @07:29AM (#13092478) Homepage Journal
    The first question that comes to mind is... how many of the downloads were free? I have seen so many ads for free songs (giveaways, contests, promotions, etc) on itunes, napster, etc that I have lost count. I wouldn't even hazard a guess at the paid:free ratio, it could be anything, 1:10, 1:1, 10:1...
    • Re:Freebies? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ray9x ( 870384 )
      None of them.
      According to the promotion rules,
      "1) downloading a song from iTunes (any free downloads will be deemed an ineligible entry)" -r.
      • Re:Freebies? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sparr0 ( 451780 )
        entry? promotion? what? im just talking about getting to the number 500 million
        • Based on this earlier slashdot article [], Apple was running a contest where songs and iPods were given away for certain milestones as they approached 500 million. Since the GP post points out the rules to the contest which indicate that free downloads won't be counted, he/she is assuming that free and promo downloads weren't counted in that 500 million. However, the truth is that we really don't know...
          • Given that they say they are inelligible for the prize I would take that to mean that they ARE counted. The only thing I would consider undetermined is whether the prize would have gone to #499999 or #500001 or no one at all if it had been a freebie.
            • Re:Freebies? (Score:4, Informative)

              by Chuckstar ( 799005 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @09:45AM (#13093501)
              I'm almost positive that I remember hearing in one of the quarterly conference calls that any time Apple announces a number of songs downloaded for iTMS, that they always mean _paid_ downloads only. Frankly, if they were including free downloads, they could leave themselves open for claims of securities fraud -- what if 500 million songs only meant $200 million, when everyone clearly assumes its close to $1 per song. (Its not quite $1 because a lot of songs are bought in albums, where there is a bulk discount. But Apple has provided guidance in the past what the average $ per song is.)
    • Re:Freebies? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @08:12AM (#13092746) Homepage
      One of the secrets of keeping promotions like that profitable is that few of the winning entries ever get redeemed. People lose them or forget about finding them or don't care about them all the time. I'm sure the number of free songs downloaded from the music store is much lower than the number of free music codes distributed by Apple's promotional partners.
      • Re:Freebies? (Score:3, Informative)

        I just found this out the hard way last night.

        During the recent promotion with Pepsi, I did the tilt the bottle trick and scored about 6 free songs. My wife is not as into computers as I am and I figured this would be a good way to get her to use iTunes more. So I redeemed all 6 songs and showed her she had 6 credits on the iTunes Music Store to pick out songs she would like. I helped her pick one out and showed her how to buy it. She said she didn't want to use them all at once.

        Flash forward 6 months
        • you should check out the laws governing gift certificates and coupons and such in your area, i dont think something like that can expire so quickly without notice.
  • by DanielNS84 ( 847393 ) <> on Monday July 18, 2005 @07:32AM (#13092491) Homepage
    How long ago Kazaa passed this mark and if any information was collected from it. I also wonder if information was published about said person and their music taste on a major news site. ;)
  • We all know that downloading music supports the terrorists.

    On a more serious note, when will the TV and movie industry finally get it? I'm still stuck with downloading Stargate Atlantis over P2P as it doesn't air here (in Finland) at all... Give me the option to pay (a reasonable sum) for Pete's sake!
    • "On a more serious note, when will the TV and movie industry finally get it? I'm still stuck with downloading Stargate Atlantis over P2P as it doesn't air here (in Finland) at all... Give me the option to pay (a reasonable sum) for Pete's sake!"

      It took (give or take) 15 years between the viability of the MP3 format and the first hugely successful online music stores.

      The online video retail market right now is like what the online music market was five years ago: it's there, but it's not widely used by

  • Apple's iTunes Music Store can now say half a billion served. ...Except that you didn't link to their lovely half-a-billion front page, you linked to the store page which they forgot to update since 'over 430,000 '.

    For the teeming horders: clicky on the apple in the top left, et voila.
  • It seems like iTunes has the market completely under control at the moment, the fashionability of macs themselves, along with the iPod have helped make iTunes the must have store, compared to Napster and others

    It's good to see apple succeeding with something they innovated in, I feel we will be seeing the 1 billionth song purchase in the near future.
  • by Fahrvergnuugen ( 700293 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @07:48AM (#13092589) Homepage

    Just look []

    at what the prize winning losers were buying!

    Jessica Simpson? Kelly Clarkson? Brian McKnight?!

    Oh the agony...

    • I'm more amazed by the fact that someone actually bought "My Immortal" by the Kidz Bop Kids as an XXX,X00,000th song (496,700,000 if you want to be precise). Imagine a dark song by Evanescence covered by a shout-singing chorus of 10-year-olds. Now that's 99 cents well spent.
    • As I'm sure has been said before, personal preferences in music aren't governed by other people. I'm willing to bet $50 that not a single person on slashdot likes your whole collection of music either. Granted, I don't listen to Jessica Simpson or Kelly Clarkson, but considering they're selling quite a bit of music, I'd say somebody does. Ok, I'm done trolling now.
    • Ripping on the music collections of others is so high school.
    • If there's one thing I've learned in my years of being an indie music snob and specifically this past year working in "the biz," it's that everyone has shitty taste in music, except me (:
    • Just look

      As interesting as the song choices and the demographics are... the numbers in the right side bar are fascinating. Over 1 year to sell the first 100-million and ~67 days to sell the most recent 100-million ! Someone want to plot those dates and counts sold on a chart please ? There are still ~5.5 months left in 2005, I would expect (based on those numbers and the astounding rate of increase) to see at least another 300-million by Christmas (if not more).

      In the beginning, Steve was beholding to th

  • Any bets on how long befor Apple serves more tunes than McDonalds served Big Macs? Half a billion is a pretty respectable number, and I wonder what the initial corporate expectations were when iTunes launched. I bet they would have been happy with 50 million by now.
  • I wonder... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 18, 2005 @08:12AM (#13092749)
    ...what the headlines would say if the 500 millionth was "Grab the devil by the horns and f**k him up the ass" by Sum41?

  • Click here to claim your prize!!!
  • Y'know... her tax bill is going to be rather larger because of this.
    10,000 song card value: $9,900
    10 x 50 song card value: $495
    10 x iPod color 60gb: $3,990
    4 Coldplay tickets and backstage passes: (no idea here, we'll go for $100 each): $400

    Additional reported income: $14,785
    Hopefully she'll be able to sell some of that stuff so she'll be able to pay taxes on the cash value. Apple is required to report the maximum possible value of these to the IRS, and it'll be included as income for 2005.

    Maybe she's a ho
  • Leased? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Migraineman ( 632203 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @11:03AM (#13094483)
    Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "Amy Greer of Lafayette, Indiana leased Faith Hill's Mississippi Girl to win?"

    Not to be overly pedantic, but the music labels are horribly opposed to us "consumers" actually owning *anything.* The Sonny Bono Retroactive Indefinite Copyright Extension Act was brilliant. They're struggling to control the distribution channel. Pretty soon they'll be using DRM to control the end-user applications - {clippy}"Sorry, you only have the One Play per Day license on song 'GarbageOfTheWeek.' Would you like to upgrade to the Unlimited Per-Day license for only a few sheckels per month more?"{/clippy}

    Yeah, I'm done now ...
    • If you were talking about other stores you might be correct.

      But once you buy a song from ITMS, it cannot be revoked by Apple - so you own that song.

      Now you might then go on to argue about transferrability, and that is an issue - but to me revokability is the line between "owning" something or not.
    • A lease expires. Apple has been advertising that you DO own the song, and any attempts on their part to change this (for songs that have already been purchased) will result in a nasty class-action suit against the company, massive piles of bad press, etc. Apple's contracts with the record labels do not allow the record labels to do what you have described.

      As you might imagine, the record labels are rather uncomfortable about this arrangement, since Apple has monopoly power to strong-arm the labels and di
      • Re:Leased? (Score:3, Insightful)

        I might live another hundred years the way medicine is going.

        I'm not confident Apple will be in the music business in a hundred years, or still producing an AAC decoder with FairPlay at that time.

        Maybe there will be a breakthrough in information theory and they'll be able to losslessly transcode my songs for me, or maybe they'll give me access the lossless versions of the songs for free before they change formats. But neither of these is in the Terms of Service.
    • Nope, that's not really more accurate. A lease implies that when the lease turn is up, you have to return the item. She can keep her downloaded song forever. If you really want to nitpick, perhaps you could say that she purchased a license to listen to the song.
  • With the recent article about Googling for CIA agents... 15229&tid=158&tid=95&tid=1 []
    Is it wise to place the name and city of the winner in a major announcement like this?

  • I was wondering if people slowed down purchases until the counter got close - I would have liked to see the usage graph to see if there was much of a spike around the 500b mark!
  • by popo ( 107611 ) on Monday July 18, 2005 @04:27PM (#13098081) Homepage
    ... they'll be able to sell the *same* 500,000,000 songs again to the same users.

    Poor stupid humans.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming