iTunes Music Store Hits 350 Million Download Mark

Customers of Appleis iTunes Music Store (iTMS) have purchased and downloaded more than 350 million songs, a transcript from Wednesdayis conference call with has analysts revealed.

Unlike previous announcements that Appleis online service had hit certain milestones, Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer made the announcement as a quick passing comment during his opening remarks to analysts Wednesday. The Mac Observer found the comment in reviewing a transcript of the conference call late Thursday.

"Last week we crossed the 350 million songs download milestone and despite the increased competition, our share of (the) online music market in the U.S. has remained at or above the 70% level as measured by Nielsen SoundScan," Mr. Oppenheimer said.

Nielsen/SoundScan has confirmed to TMO that it does not and has never broken down online music market share figures, despite Mr. Oppenheimeris comment. In actually fact, Apple is calculating itis own market share number based on its knowledge of downloads from its iTMS and subtracting from the total number of online music service downloads reported weekly by Nielsen/SoundScan.

An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for comment to confirm the exact date the company hit the 350 million download mark. If it happened on Wednesday, April 6, the company has sold some 1.38 million songs daily in the last 36 days.

Apple last reported it surpassed 300 million in online music sales on March 2.

The iTMS is available for Mac and Windows personal computers and works exclusively with Appleis line of iPod digital media devices. The iTMS is available in 15 countries. In the U.S., the service features more than one million songs and more than 9,000 audiobooks.

iTunes Music Store Key Dates
April 28, 2003Apple Launches iTunes Music Store
May 6, 2003One million songs sold on iTMS
May 14, 2003Two million songs sold on iTMS
June 23, 2003Five million songs sold on iTMS
September 8, 2003Ten million songs sold on iTMS
October 16, 2003Apple & Pepsi launch giveaway of 100 million free songs
October 20, 2003One million copies of iTunes for Windows downloaded in less than four days
November 6, 20031.5 million songs sold on iTMS in one week
December 15, 200325 million songs sold on iTMS
March 15, 200450 million songs sold on iTMS
April 28, 2004Over 70 million songs sold on iTMS
May 5, 20043.3 million songs sold on iTMS in one week
June 15, 2004Apple launches iTMS in UK, France & Germany
June 23, 2004iTMS in Europe sells 800,000 songs in first week
July 12, 2004100 million songs sold on iTMS
August 10, 2004iTMS catalog tops one million songs
October 14, 2004150 million songs sold on iTMS
October 26, 2004Apple launches iTMS in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain
November 30, 2004Apple launches iTMS in Canada
December 16, 2004200 million songs sold on iTMS
January 6, 2005Apple launches iTMS in Ireland
January 24, 2005250 million songs sold on iTMS
March 2, 2005300 million songs sold on iTMS
April 6, 2005350 million songs sold on iTMS