updated 03:00 pm EST, Thu January 31, 2008
iTunes passes RealPlayer
Apple's iTunes software surpassed RealPlayer in unique users for the first time in April of 2007, according to WebSiteOptimization.com, and was the only contender among the four major streaming media players to show a positive growth rate over the past year. iTunes grew 26.8 percent from December 2006 to December 2007, while QuickTime and RealPlayer usage fell 8.6 percent and 17.5 percent, respectfully. Windows Media Player, meanwhile, remained essentially flat over the past year.
Apple recently reported its best quarter in history after unveiling iTunes movie rentals at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. The company confirmed deals with every major studio -- including Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, New Line Cinema, Fox, Sony, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Touchstone.
All studios agreed to offer their movies to iTunes customers on a rent-to-watch basis, with old and new standard-definition releases priced at $2.99 and $3.99, respectfully. HD-quality versions are also available for $1 more, and new releases will arrive 30 days after their retail DVD shipment.