“Consumers don’t want to be treated like criminals and artists don’t want their valuable work stolen. The iTunes Music Store offers a groundbreaking solution for both,” Steve Jobs famously said on April 28, 2003 while introducing the iTunes Store for the first time to the world. It was an unheard of concept where users could buy individual songs for 99 cents and they were theirs to keep and burn on CDs. After 10 years of existence, Apple today announced it has sold the 25 billionth song. But by all means this is just the beginning of iTunes Store.
In today’s announcement Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said that over 15,000 songs were being downloaded every minute on an average. But here’s a fun fact, it took Apple 86 days to clock the last five billion songs, considering on November 19, 2o12 it said in a press release to announce the availability of AC/DC catalogue that over 20 billion songs had been sold via the Store. In other words, in the last three months, over 40,000 songs were being downloaded from the Store every minute!
Even if we assume the hit rate remains the same, at 40,000 songs per minute, the iTunes Store would sell over 21 billion songs this year alone! Judging by our experience of how the App Store has grown – having hit the 40 billion downloads mark in January with 2 billion downloads coming in December 2012 alone, it would not be a stretch of imagination that Apple is on its way to sell over 25 billion songs via the iTunes Store in 2013 alone.
By introducing the iTunes Store in 56 additional countries in December 2012, many with billing in local currencies and locally relevant pricing, iTunes Store sales are going to go through the roof. Judging by Apple’s Q1 2013 earnings result, its iTunes/Software/Service revenues grew by 5 percent quarter-on-quarter and an astounding 22 percent annually. Yes, that would include revenues from App Store and other services, but a major chunk of it would come from the iTunes Store as it did not record a full quarter of the iTunes Store being available in 56 additional countries, which essentially doubled the number of countries of availability. I won’t be surprised if we see the full impact of the iTunes Store in Apple’s next quarterly earnings.