Music fans have purchased more than 70 million songs in the first year of Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes.com, the company reported today, the first anniversary of iTunes’ launch. Apple says iTunes accounts for 70% of legal music downloads from the Internet. Customers are currently purchasing 2.7 million songs per week, a rate of 140 million songs per year, the company reports.
"ITunes has exceeded our wildest expectations during its first year, charting a new direction for the music industry," said Steve Jobs, Apple`s CEO.
ITunes features more than 700,000 songs from all five major music companies and over 450 independent music labels. Among the features that Apple is enhancing at iTunes.com is allowing customers to store songs on up to five devices, two more than previously. Apple also had added a Party Shuffle feature that automatically chooses songs from a user`s music library, displays just-played and upcoming songs, and allows users to add, delete and rearrange the upcoming songs on the fly. It’s also added radio charts from more than 1,000 radio stations, enabling users to buy the top songs played on local radio stations in major US markets directly from the charts with just one click.
At the same time, the number of times a user can burn the same playlist onto CDs with iTunes is being reduced from 10 to seven. Users can still burn a single song an unlimited number of times and listen to music on an unlimited number of iPods.
Apple is marking the first anniversary of iTunes by offering a free song of the day for the next eight days. Following the anniversary celebration, the iTunes Music Store will offer a Free Single of the Week from new bands.