Apple iTunes has been hugely successful in the US and has proven that legally offering music via internet can be a successful and profitable. Launching online about a year ago with a library of 200,000 songs, iTunes today is offering over 700,000 songs. itunes is currently partnered up with all five major record labels; as well as, major Christian labels and 450 independent labels to provide music for customers.
Previously accessible only on Macs, last October the iTunes services became available for Windows users. Apple currently has over 70,000 users downloading about 2.7 million tunes per week, totaling 70 million songs sold since it’s launch.
iTunes also features an “Inspirational” category with an extensive list of hundreds of Christian artists. The popular Christian contemporary music band Third Day debuted its newest album “Wire” on iTunes as one of the top-ten most downloaded playlists. Other favorite Christian albums featured on iTunes include Mercy Me’s “Undone,” Fred Hammond’s “Somethin’ ‘Bout Love,” and Casting Crowns’ self-titled album.
The iTunes software is free and can be downloaded from the Apple website. Songs can be downloaded for 99 cents per track which can be previewed before actually purchasing. The ability to preview songs before downloading allows the user to explore new music genres and artists. The iTunes offers an alternative venue from the traditional major record labels for artists to promote their albums. This opens the doors to independent artists and affectively increases the choice and quality of music.
The software allows downloaders to have their music on five different computers and burn their downloads up to seven times. The music store now features music videos and movie trailers. A new feature iMix allows customers to share their playlists with others for preview, review, and purchase.