iTunes has only been around for 3 years and they have already sold 1 billion downloads. You can bet that it won’t take three more years to double that number. The milestone was reached at 1 a.m. eastern time this morning. The lucky downloader got rewarded for being up late by receiving a 20 inch iMac, ten 60GB iPods and $10,000 worth of downloads.
The 1 billion songs Apple has sold makes up a huge portion of the overall sales of online music. At Macworld, Steve Jobs said that Apple held 83% of the market. The growth has been almost exponential. They sold their 100 millionth download in July of 2004 and doubled that by the end of that year. 500 million was passed on July 17th, 2005. It’s not unreasonable to expect that they will pass the 2 billion mark before the end of this year.
It’s hard to gauge the financial impact for Apple of the sales. Though most songs cost $0.99, the notoriously secretive company doesn’t disclose what portion of that amount they keep. Regardless, they have made a lot of money from iTunes and that shouldn’t change for a long while.