RealTime IT News

Apple Hits 2M Mark with iTunes

Apple Computer may be onto something big with its new iTunes Music Store store.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker Wednesday said upwards of two million songs have been purchased and downloaded since it was launched 16 days ago. Similar to the trend set during the first week, more than half of the songs purchased to date were purchased as albums.

"Response to the iTunes Music Store has been phenomenal -- we've clearly hit a chord with users," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "We're adding new songs every day, giving music lovers even more reasons to legally download their favorite music."

At 99-cents a song or between $4 and $18 for an album, Apple is beginning to see a hefty profit. The company has yet to disclose how much its profit is being offset by the hosting costs or the reported 60 percent cut that goes to the labels. Still using rough estimates, Apple just made an estimated $2.3 million in a week and upwards of $5 million in the last two weeks based solely on its iTunes service.

Currently, the iTunes phenomenon is restricted to Apple computers in the United States. Analysts are saying that the real test of the music download platform will come when Apple launches its service for Windows users. That is expected to happen later this year.

iTunes Music Store features songs from the five major music companies: BMG, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal, and Warner.

The site offers 30-second demos and lets users burn songs onto an unlimited number of CDs for personal use, listen to songs on an unlimited number of iPods, play songs on up to three registered Macintosh computers, and use songs in other applications on the Mac, including iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD.

Apple is keeping up the pressure on the competition rolling out more than 4,300 new songs to the iTunes Music Store Tuesday bringing the total to about 6,300 titles.

The latest offering include five albums from The Doors; new featured artist Fischerspooner's album "#1" plus an exclusive remix of their hit "Emerge;" new albums from Cold, Lizz Wright, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; pre-release tracks from upcoming albums by Michelle Branch, Da Brat, Jesse Harris and Kenna.