25 Billion Songs in a Decade

Remember the Coca-Cola classic “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.” Steve Jobs did this. Or at least listen. Earlier this month iTunes announced that they had had their 25th billion download. To celebrate this milestone, iTunes gave €10,000 (which translated into US$13,525) to a German user whose download marked this occasion.

Since its launch in 2003 Apple’s iTunes has changed the way we listen and purchase music, and the music industry. It has:

  • Pumped up the Now: We get music and movies when we want, where we want, for a price less than most things you can buy. Singles not albums.
  • Created a space for small: A low barrier to entry has helped grow independent labels and made it easier for niche bands to be discovered. “Whether you’re indie, major, whatever…iTunes doesn’t exclude any musician simply because they’re not yet established or popular,” said Wesley Schultz, guitarist and lead vocalist of The Lumineers.
  • Made entertainment mobile: After the decline of portable music in the early 90s (CDs didn’t allow you to pack light unless you wanted to hear albums on repeat), iTunes allowed us to listen to a lot of music – and on different devices.

So what was the 25th billion song? “Monkey Drums” (Goksel Vancin Remix) by Chase Buch!

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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