iTunes Store enters its teenage years

The iTunes Store opened 13 years ago today. We largely take it for granted today, but it's hard to understate how huge the creation of the iTunes Store was for Apple.

To celebrate, here's a few milestones and tidbits, starting with Steve Job's 2003 introduction.


Apr 2003: Steve Jobs introduces the iTunes Store.

Apr 2003: Bill Gates sends email to his team, stating "Jobs has us a bit flat footed again".

Feb 2004: On Super Bowl Sunday, Apple and Pepsi launch a promotion to give away 100 million songs. This is the closest we get to a new Apple Super Bowl ad, with five Pepsi commercials (although I suspect Apple had a hand in them). I particularly like this one:

Jul 2004: iTunes Music Store downloads top 100 million songs. Meh. They just gave away 100 million songs with the Pepsi promotion.

Oct 2005: Music videos, Pixar short films and TV shows are added to the iTunes Store, and the iTunes app starts its march to becoming the iEverything app.

Feb 2006: iTunes Music Store downloads top one billion songs. Hm, maybe there is something to this paid download model.

Apr 2006: Beatles songs rumored to be coming to iTunes.

Sept 2006: The iTunes Store adds movies. "Here we go again! First music, then TV shows, and now movies," says Steve.

Feb 2007: Long before his open letter "Thoughts on Flash", Steve Jobs publishes his open letter, "Thoughts on Music", arguing for DRM-free music.

Sept 2007: The iTunes Store comes to the iPhone in the form of the "iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store". Not that this iPhone thing will ever amount to much.

Feb 2008: A year and a half after the first movies hit the iTunes Store, Apple premieres iTunes movie rentals with all major film studios.

Apr 2008: Apple surpasses Wal-Mart to become the number one music retailer in the US.

Jan 2009: iTunes Store goes DRM-free (yay!), with a new pricing structure (boo!), and an increase to 256Kbps encoding (yay!).

Nov 2010: The years of rumors are true - the Beatles finally arrive on the iTunes Store (yawn).

Jun 2011: iTunes and the iTunes Store join the cloud movement with the addition of iTunes in the Cloud and iTunes Match.

Feb 2013: iTunes Store hits 25 billion songs sold. The only thing to grow faster is the App Store.

Sept 9 2014: Apple teams up with U2 to automatically gift U2's new album "Songs of Innocence" to all iTunes Store users.

Sept 15 2014: Bono apologizes.

Jun 2015: After years of Steve Jobs and other Apple execs stating that people want to own - not rent - music, Apple introduces its music streaming service, Apple Music. That doesn't necessarily mean Apple was wrong. Rather it's a sign of changing times.