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Monday, April 27, 2015

Posted: 27 Apr 2015 03:00 AM PDT
Author: Steve Laube

Twelve years ago this week (April 28, 2003) Apple announced the launch of a new way to buy digital music. The iTunes Store. (Click for the original press release.) It started with 200,000 songs available for purchase. (Today there are more than 26 million songs available for sale.) The iTunes software had been introduced a couple years earlier, but now it became a commercial venture. A place where you could buy your favorite song for 99 cents and carry it with you without having to buy the entire CD and “rip it” and then download the song to your iPod. You could ditch the CD entirely!
Only twelve years ago. Where were you in April 2003? I was one month removed from leaving Bethany House Publishers and starting a new life as a literary agent. Michael Jordan had just officially retired from the NBA. The U.S. was five weeks into the Iraq war and Baghdad had just fallen. The number one song on the Billboard chart was “In Da Club” by 50 Cent. And there was a new hit show on TV called “NCIS.” (Note that youtube.com didn’t hit the internet until 2005!)
Fast forward a bit and we find that in Fall 2013 the 25 billionth song (billion with a ‘b’) was downloaded from iTunes. That is 3.5 songs for every man, woman, and child on the planet earth.
Little did anyone realize the disruption this technology would create in the music industry.

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