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Apple iTunes Music Store hits 100 million song mark

updated 05:55 am EDT, Mon July 12, 2004

iTMS hits 100M songs

Early Monday morning Apple announced that its iTunes Music Store has reached that that were given away as part of the Pepsi/iTunes promotion.

On its anniversary, Apple gave away free song downloads each day for eight days. Apple continued to the promotion, offering free songs each week as a "risk free" way to introduce to new users to the service. Today's announcement of the 100 million song mark likely includes these song as part of the tally.

Since the July promo announcement, several developers have developed software and charts for monitoring iTunes' download rate, which many readers used to help increase their own chances to win one of the several prizes being offered by Apple. Readers, however, report that they were unable to access the store as the store approached 100 million songs, frustrating many readers attempting to purchase music (and become the grand prize winner).

"Last night I tried to access the iTunes Music store as the 100,000,000 song mark approached--only I was unable to connect," noted Dennis Callahan. "I tried for about 10 minutes to view my existing shopping cart--all to no avail. Seems this type of demand should have been anticipated and dealt with before it became an issue to those of us who would have enjoyed the possibility of winning."

Several readers also note that the download rate has dropped off dramatically since the end of the promotion.

by MacNN Staff




  1. backspinner

    Joined: Dec 1969


    download rate is dropping

    as can be seen on the download rate is at the lowest value ever

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Free Entry

    Of course, people are forgetting that there was a way to enter for free. By the time they approached the 100 million mark there could have easily been tens of thousands of free entries which aren't tallied on the tracking chart. So anyone who used that chart to anticipate when to buy were probably too late. Even Apple's web site which was showing the count was labelling it as "songs sold" and not "entries received." It would be interesting to know how many free entries there were and whether those were included in the tally on Apple's site.

  1. flask

    Joined: Dec 1969


    didn't even have a chanc

    For some reason, every time Apple's count got toward the next 100,000 mark, it would change to a non-specific number, like 97,000,000+. I figured that was to keep people from constantly refreshing their home page to watch the count. The same thing happened last night/this morning: it said 99,000,000+ so I went to the iTMS and purchased my shopping cart, figuring it had to be close to the 100 million mark.

    I came back to Apple's home page and it was a specific number again! It was at 99,8xx,x** so I went back to iTMS to find another album I wanted, and the whole computer locked up as I was accessing my shopping cart. As in, OS 9-style locked up, as in, I couldn't switch apps or force-quit or do anything at all. On another computer, I went to Apple's home page and saw that the count was now at 100,014,x**. Dang. Wouldn't it figure that the one time OS X has completely locked up on me was at the exact moment the grand prize was being given away?

  1. VadersCape

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad Promo

    The whole 'contest'/'enter for free' aspect was stupid as the promo was specifically to get the 100,000,000th actual song downloaded. What were they going to say? That Joe Blow won the Powerbook and stuff because he was the 100,000,000th entry, even though Jane Doe actually downloaded the 100,000,000th tune? Not likely. Instead of making it a contest, it should have been cast as a customer loyalty promotion so that only folks actually downloading songs could participate (which would also encourage more folks to download and install iTunes and start shopping). And if that's not something that would have been legal, then I'm going to start writing to several airlines that I do not fly and demand free frequent flier miles everytime I send them another letter or an email asking for them.

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "No Purchace Required"

    If you are going to outright give something away to a random customer, you have to make it possible to enter for free. Otherwise, you are running a lottery, which is illegal.

    Frequent flier miles and similar promotions are entirely irrelevant. Instead of one random person winning merchandise or money, anyone who joins a frequent-flier program (or enters a promotion) is given what is effectively a discount. It's perfectly legal to give a discount to people for being loyal customers.

  1. uhanna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    they simply did it

    how about for a change just accepting that they got their number regardless of bad/good promo.

    I'm sure those who got a prize think it's great.

    I'm not saying that we should always accept everything a company does but sometimes people just have to find a spin or cynical statement about every damn thing.

    They got their 100 mil number, it's a milestone (can't argue that) so just suck it up and move on.

  1. groundwork

    Joined: Dec 1969



    But they did it without me winning something. Waaahhhhhh.

  1. poemtree

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Winner Win or Mac user?

    I wonder if Apple can tell if the winner was using a Mac or PC. If he's a Wintelian, maybe we have a new switcher to add to our ranks, since most Wintel users say they would use a Mac "if they could afford one."

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    rate slowing

    Well, its kind of hard to say the download rate is slowing based on the links you provided, as (a) it only covers July, and (b) its a set of incomprehensible graphs with very little in the way of explanation (you know, keys to explain each line, c*** like that).

    Oh, one would think that for a short time after the promotion the download rate would drop somewhat, as people tend to purchase more than usual during a promotion, and then reduce their purchases afterward to average out the costs (same goes with lotteries, after a big jackpot winner, the next one usually has little play on it because people already spent all their money).

  1. Icruise

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Downloads are down? Duh.

    A lot of people would have been saving up things to buy at the last minute of the promotion, so it's not hard to see why downloads would be down just after the contest ends. Also, there's a psychological effect that you have to keep in mind -- it seems a little like a waste to download something now, since you no longer have a chance at a prize. That will wear off soon.

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