February 24, 2010, 5:10 PM — On Wednesday Apple's iTunes Store served its 10 billionth music download, according to the company. Here's a look at notable moments in its history:
April 28, 2003 - Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in the U.S. The store debuted with iTunes version 4 and offered a revolutionary way for Macintosh users to buy music online with looser DRM (digital rights management) restrictions than competitors. "It's not stealing, which is good Karma," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, at a launch event in San Francisco.
May 5, 2003 - After just a week in business the iTunes Music Store had already served 1 million [m] downloads. "In less than one week we've broken every record and become the largest online music company in the world," Jobs proclaimed of the service.
Sept. 8, 2003 - The downloads kept going. Two million by May 14, five million by June 23 and ten million by Sept. 8. "The iPod is a rocket," Greg Joswiak, vice president of hardware product marketing, told MacCentral.
Oct. 16, 2003 - iTunes expanded to the mass market with the introduction of a version for Windows. More than a million copies of the new version were downloaded in three and a half days.
Dec. 15, 2003 - Apple hit the 25 million download mark. The 50 million download mark was broken three months later on March 15, 2004.
June 15, 2004 - Apple began international expansion of the iTunes Music Store with the launch of service in the U.K., France and Germany. "We think this is the digital music store that Europe has been waiting for," said Steve Jobs. The service sold 800,000 songs in its first week in business.
July 12, 2004 - Downloads hit 100 million [m] songs and Steve Jobs took a moment to thank "our customers, the artists and the music labels who have embraced our dream for iTunes."
Dec. 16, 2004 - Apple ended 2004 with the download total moving past 200 million songs, after launching an E.U. version of the store.
July 18, 2005 - iTunes Music Store downloads topped half a billion songs.