February 25th, 2010
11:14 AM ET

iTunes hits 10 billion downloads

Happy birthday, Johnny Cash. And congratulations, Louie Sulcer.

In a press release, Apple announced today that its iTunes Store had topped 10 billion song purchases and downloads. (Seems like only yesterday it was hitting 1 billion.) The 10 billionth song was Johnny Cash's "Guess Things Happen That Way," an early Cash song from his album "Sings the Songs That Made Him Famous," and it was purchased by Sulcer, of Woodstock, Georgia. (By coincidence, Cash would have celebrated his 78th birthday tomorrow.)

For his impeccable timing (and, it must be added, terrific taste), Sulcer will receive a $10,000 iTunes gift card.

Though it seems like it's been part of the landscape forever, iTunes was founded just seven years ago, in 2003. "We're grateful to all of our customers for helping us reach this amazing milestone," said Eddie Cue, Apple's vice president of Internet Services, in the statement.

Filed under: Music

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. http://sohastore.vn

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    December 31, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
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  4. indi615

    go grandpa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 1, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. ryan cameron

    Celebrating a concentration of power and wealth to Apple and out of the hands of artists. Apple figured out how to be the ultimate evil empire, the monoculture, the dictatorship of the music industry, and how to make people believe it was a great thing while they laugh all the way to the bank.

    I personally buy used CD's, records, and tapes and listen to the radio. I avoid apple products because they are a massive growing monopoly that has far too much power.

    March 1, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tony Darnell

    I am thrilled at the success of iTunes. I buy and download my music, videos, movies, etc. legally. I am unconcerned about the potential for harmful viruses from file sharing sites because I don't use them. I am an honest consumer. If you download music from sources where the artist does not get paid it is stealing. You are a thief. Period. Just because the artist might be able to afford it doesn't make it right. You're a thief just like someone who would steal a lady's purse, shoplift from a store, or rip the CD player out of someone's car.

    March 1, 2010 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    Haha Limewire? You guys are idiots, just use a bitTorrent program, DL from pirate bay, you get full albums, no viruses.

    March 1, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. Rick

    ea why pay .99 a song when you can steal it on limewire!? and hope you don't get a virus!!! I mean what are you people stupid?

    Why pay for anything at a store when you can put it in your pocket and walk out? Why pay for something and expect the person who made it to get paid when you can just steal it?


    March 1, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. J

    The story says iTunes reached 10 billion purchases and downloads. It does not say that all of these downloads were purchased. There are lots of things you can download for free from iTunes, such as podcasts. Are these free downloads factored into the equation? I'd be interested to know what their sales figures are.

    February 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    Kenny you obviously don't understand logic. I hope someone looks into you ip address you posted that from and sends you a nice bill for stealing all that music. I'm not perfect, I have downloaded music off torrent sites, but most of the stuff I did not pay for I have deleated or paid for later. I like to support the bands that I listen to.

    Anyone here who thinks paying for music is stupid, you obviously are too stupid to ever produce something of value to ever sell. If you invested the time and money to write, record, publish and advertise your product, why should you not get paid? Why should you pay for gas, or food? 99 cents for a song is not alot to ask, and the entire CD is usually cheaper then buying each song by its self. I knew downloading the music for free when I have done it was wrong, but you obviously do not.

    February 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pogpog

    So, is there a benefit for the folks or users for this?

    February 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Craig

    I wonder how many songs have been illegally downloaded for every song downloaded legally off Itunes. Why pay .99-2.99 for every song when you can get them for free. Seriously if you want to get a ton of songs on an Ipod or whatever why waste $1000-$2000

    February 28, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chris, ATX

    First off, doubters, Apple doesn't lie to people. They just don't. It is completely at odds with the company's character to just make stuff up.

    Second, Pandora users et al, I'm cool with you, but it's like a radio station. Some of us prefer to pick our music.

    Third, haters. Why you hating? Really, why? There's so much wrong in the world and our country, is it really so offensive to you that an American company can just do a good job, and be popular, and provide careers and opportunity?

    Full disclosure – I work for Apple. I've been working for iTunes for a few months now, and lemme tell ya:

    I've worked in a lot of companies and a lot of industries, and I swear I feel like I've died and gone to business heaven. There is no way to express the character of this organization, the positivity. The support and the warmth and pride of all of the people I work with is fabulous.

    And I'm not some muckety-muck, either. I'm an entry level guy, I have to work hard, and bring my "A" game every day.

    Go ahead and hate if you have to, if it makes you feel better. I'm not a fanboy, I'm not a techno, I'm a working American who thanks his lucky stars every day that I'm not getting laid off, or abused by my supervisors, or handling a product or service that's dishonest or unsavory or dangerous.

    10 Billion? Heck yeah. I'm going in every day to make it 20.

    Hate all you want.

    I'm loving my job, and my company, and our customers, who rock the hizzouse.

    And the G5 on my desk. Oh, what a sweet machine.

    Okay, maybe I AM a fanboy. But I'm a convert.

    February 27, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. VivekB

    Kenny, making a copy and enjoying something you didn't pay for IS stealing. What part of that don't you understand?

    February 27, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sean

    the cds cost more because everyone buys digital now ... or copies digital ... so have to compensate for downfall of sales ... and ripping and copying cds is also illegal is a copyright issue if someone else is benefiting from that copy besides yourself ... and yea you're right news flash people have been doing illegal and unethical things for years ... whether its legal or illegal its going to happen nothing we can do about it

    February 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Sean

    If I were the guy that won the gift card I'd sell it to someone else ... although they probably already attached it to his account electronically ... probably could download the songs he wants and then just sell the rest of the gift card for a couple thousand

    February 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  17. The Future

    Re: All those spruiking illegal downloading – its bad for the artists AND the industry & all it employs. If you really cant pay for music, check out Guvera.com, its a fresh play on free downloads AND the relevant people get paid. No software, no viruses, no subscription. Looks like its got a chance to shine.

    February 27, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  18. sanket

    it's really fantastic.

    February 27, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  19. kenny8076

    to all you people crying about stealing songs quit being such drama queens!!! Limewire is a file "sharing" site, no one is "stealing" anything. its the same thing as borrowing your friends cd back in the day to jam in the car, ripping it then copying, or copying someones tape in the 80's or 90's, just because its the 21st century and done on the PC doesnt make it stealing or any different than what we were all doing 10-20 years ago. i have downloaded about 500 songs from limewire, mainly older classical and opera (which by the way your beloved Itunes didnt offer), but i have hit a financial downfall the past few years and quit frankly dont have $500 for songs, so now i cant have music? you used to be able to buy a 20 song tape or CD for $12.99, now its $20 and MAYBE 15 songs. maybe if artists quit charging more and more and more (for the life style THEY choose to have and have payments for)for less heart and less quality music people would feel more obligated to spend hard earned money.

    February 27, 2010 at 5:13 am | Report abuse |
  20. Seriosuly? Pay for Music?

    Pay for music? With all the technological advances and facts uncovered about how records and "artists" are compensated, people are still too MORAL to download music for free? According to the entry, there are at LEAST 10 billion occurrences of idiocy within the music world. It's unbelievable how the public still pays for music, get off your high horses and be realistic, even millions of downloads and copies of free music doesn't hurt the record industry, don't believe the propoganda...

    February 27, 2010 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  21. Pat

    $10,000 will get a lot of songs

    February 27, 2010 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  22. Hal

    Whoever mentioned Limewire has no idea what they are talking about. The last time I downloaded "free content" about 6 years ago I got a virus that shut down "My Music" every time I opened it. I had to go into safe mode to remove it because even McAfee could not remove it. I don't care what it costs, I pay for my downloads to avoid that problem. But I still enjoy cd's and like listening to a complete "album" and have never been a singles person.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Mit Yendar

    Awesome, in just 4 years and 3 days itunes went from 1 billion to 10 billion songs downloaded. I love itunes. I also use pandora and other sites to listen to music and when I really like a song I will go to itunes and buy it. It sure beats purchasing an entire CD for just a couple of songs that you really want.

    February 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Camron

    bs.... no one buys from itunes... everyone downloads them illegally. they might use iTunes but not download from iTunes.

    February 26, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Kevin

    Its a mystery to me why people would pay a dollar a song, when for a small subscription fee comparable to what they would have spent anyway each month, they could freely roam through huge libraries such as Rhapsody.

    Not defending any particular subscription product's library or software, that's not the point. Subscription offers the profound advantage of creating zero marginal cost for access to vast amounts of "I'd listen to that once in a while" music. At least for me, that is where almost all recordings fall.

    February 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jay Neumann / Talking Dolphin Records

    Awesome...now that's10 to the 9th power...and these are legal downloads...Thanks for helping to Ensure domestic tranquility and
    Insure Copyright on behalf of all Artists. Best of Luck in all future endeavors,,,Jay http://www.talkingdolphinrecords.com

    February 26, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Joey

    Limewire is for noobs. Blogspots is where it's at.

    February 26, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Don

    WAY TO GO APPLE!!! 🙂
    The dazzling shine on the `ol Apple has never been any brighter!
    Congratulations to an amazing company!

    February 26, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  29. DJK srs

    I'm a deejay ... I prefer to buy the individual songs, since the album (CD – sorry, I've still got a bunch of LPs stashed safely!) contains a lot of songs I don't want, like, or need. Also, compilations usually miss one or two songs I want, and many have the same stuff as all the others. I mean, how many copies of "YMCA" does a person need???

    About the 99 cents to 1.99 costs ... Buy the songs, for crying out loud! Intellectual property and all that. Hey, if an artist wants to give their songs for free, that's great – they recognize that giving someone a free track usually results in a full-out purchase (Dave Matthews, for instance).

    February 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Str8 Outta Tx

    damn! that's what happened to our old comp!
    but whats wrong with buying the c.d.'s and transferring certain songs to your ipod?

    February 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jim

    Oh yeah, you save so much money using Limewire and stealing the music for free! I've lost count on the number of pc's I've been asked to reformat because of all the viruses and spyware that come from Limewire!! And I charged them $100 for the reformat and made lots of money. Do any of you even read the Limewire user agreement? Yeah idiots, keep using Limewire so that I can charge your mommy and daddy $100 so you'll stop whinning about your pc being slow/full of spyware/viruses!!

    February 26, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Ken

    For those who are downloading songs through services like limewire, play 'turn the table' for a moment (no pun intended for those still valuing vinyl records)...suppose you put something out there on the market of your own creation. Would you be thrilled to find out it was being downloaded for free and you were missing out on the royalties for your work? I know there are the arguments that the artists are making a lot of money (some would say milking it), the RIAA is out there enforcing it (some would say aggressively too far), and that it doesn't hurt if a few freebies are picked up here and there. But it does. What would you then do to address the issue knowing it's your own work that in effect someone is stealing? I do respect your viewpoints, and hope you'll respect mine. Keep in mind though that you "Walk the line" (had to since it is a reference to Johnny Cash) and someday it might catch up to you...

    (And for the record...no pun intended there...I am not a member of the RIAA or any other group like that...just a plain ordinary individual.)

    I do commend iTunes for what they have done, and congratulate them on their milestone.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  33. HaveYouNoMorals

    BEK – Limewire, eMule, etc are all pirate software applications. If you download songs from them, you are stealing and violating the copyright and usage agreement of the song. Pandora, et al offer free services and offset it with advertisements – not a bad trade off. At least with iTunes you have the option of buying only the songs you like instead of the whole CD which provides way more value to the consumer

    February 26, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Bob Fritz

    I'm glad it was a good song and not some piece of contemporary AutoTune crap.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  35. dpeters11

    Doesn't he have to pay tax on that card? I'd be hoping not to win, wouldn't want to have to pay tax on 10 grand worth of a gift card that I couldn't use some of to buy stuff to resell to pay the tax man.

    February 26, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  36. Blue Eyed Knight

    But still why pay $.99-$2.99 for songs/albums when limewire is free or just go buy the cds and download them to your ipods and itouches cause me i just go through ihome on my iphone and itouch i mean come on!?

    February 26, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  37. Str8 Outta Tx

    i agree with devin and johnny, i'd rather just listen for free. but you can watch videos and all with youtube. why spend even $1 a song? it adds up.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  38. Nick

    Louie, time for a bigger backup drive.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  39. Johney

    @Devin , People buy off itunes to support the actual artist, if you like your music so much why dont you help support them instead of being a cheap ass, or at least buy their CD. People like you is one of the reasons alot of artists dont make it very far.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  40. Steven Cravis

    I was hoping my Healing Piano song would have been bought as the 10 billionth , oh well... I Guess Things Happen That Way.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  41. Jeff

    Devin and Johnny, some of us believe in the principles of capitalism. If we want a product, we'll pay the price that the makers of the product are asking. If we don't want to pay for it, we won't acquire it.

    February 26, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  42. 98greenlude

    Great song for the 10 billionth DL.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  43. johhny two fingers

    Ya im not impressed with apples ability to market and sell 1.29 songs, becasue all you really got to do is limewire ad save yourself about 300 bucs

    February 26, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  44. David

    Uhh..Dave..have YOU bothered to do the math? It works out, and is still an impressive number.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  45. Devin

    And what the hell is one person going to do with 10 thousand dollars worth of itunes crap? lmao.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  46. Devin

    Bunch of idiots. Hasn't anyone ever heard of Limewire or Pandora? So much money people spend on music and I listen to it for free.

    February 26, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  47. Rob

    That is only just above 2700 songs a min for the last 7 years. I would have to say with as many people in the world using Itunes its not BS.

    February 26, 2010 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
  48. Tyler

    Not possible?

    1428571429 songs every year for seven years.
    3913894 songs every day for seven years.
    163079 songs every hour for seven years.
    2718 songs every minute for seven years.
    46 songs every second for seven years.
    (Give or take with rounding errors.)

    Honestly, 46 songs every second is actually pretty believable.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  49. Dave

    BS. It's not possible. Has anyone bothered to do the math? Any idea how many downloads that would be per day since the store was opened? Maybe if they count all music downloads and whatever updates. Otherwise it's nothing but marketing hype.

    February 25, 2010 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Darrell

    missed it by one!! Looks like Jenny Kavanaugh had the 9,999,999 download for her song "Something's Wrong" So close and yet so far.

    February 25, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Craig

    Hey CNN, stop worshiping at the Apple alter. Enough already. Does a day go by that you don't bow down?

    February 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Head Diva In Charge

    It's about to get a bunch more – getting ready for my return to the gym!

    February 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Str8 Outta TX

    should've had some stats in there about the most popular this and that.
    then there would be something to blog about.

    February 25, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  54. Blue Eyed Knight

    Wow thats fasinating but it has been around for almost how many years??!!

    February 25, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |

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