The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple Inc. As of April , iTunes offers 60 million songs, 2. Steve Jobs saw the opportunity to open a digital marketplace for music due to the rising popularity of easily downloadable tracks. In April , the iTunes Store was the largest music vendor in the United States,  and in February , it was the largest music vendor in the world. In , it was reported that music streaming services had overtaken digital downloads in sales. In April , the iTunes app was added to the Microsoft Windows 10 app store.
Apple's storefront for movies and television shows moved inside the TV app. Any music in users' iTunes library would transfer to the Music app, which would still offer access to the iTunes Store. Following the introduction of the iTunes Store, individual songs were all sold for the same price, though Apple introduced multiple prices in Previously, this model, known as "iTunes Plus", had been available only for music from EMI and some independent labels. Users can sample songs by listening to previews, ninety seconds in length, or thirty seconds for short tracks.
In addition, the iTunes Store offers apps, which are applications used for various purposes games, productivity, news, etc. Developers can decide which prices they want to charge for apps, from a pre-set list of pricing tiers, from free to several hundred dollars. When someone downloads an App, 70 percent of the purchase goes to the developer s , and 30 percent goes to Apple. Movie rentals are only viewable for 24 hours in the US or 48 hours in other countries after users begin viewing them.
The iTunes Store also offers one low-priced movie rental a week: in the United States, this rental costs 99 cents. There is a weekly promotion in which one to three songs are available to download for free to logged-in users. Free downloads are available on Tuesdays, and remain free until the following Tuesday, when the store gets refreshed with new content. This is not available at all iTunes Stores. Some iTunes television programs have begun the same technique to encourage brand loyalty; although those stay longer. In fact, the iTunes Store has a "Free TV Episodes" page where free episodes are organized by length, either as "featurettes" shorter than 15 minutes or full length episodes longer than 15 minutes.
App prices are set by the developer; they can be free of charge or charged at 99 cents plus any number of dollars. Originally, mobile users had to be connected to a Wi-Fi network in order to enter the store, hence its original name: iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store.
However, at Macworld , Apple issued a software update which automatically allowed 3G and EDGE users to access the store's full functionality for files smaller than 10 megabytes MB. In the United States, Apple provides technical support for the iTunes Store via email, there is no phone number for issues with iTunes purchases. In response to major natural disasters , Apple provides the facility for donations to be made through the iTunes Store.
Songs from more than 2, independent labels were added later, the first being from The Orchard on June 24, As of April , iTunes offers 60 million songs,   including exclusive tracks from numerous artists. Not all artists are available on iTunes, but many holdouts, such as Led Zeppelin and Radiohead, have allowed their music to be sold on the iTunes Store in recent years. New songs are added to iTunes catalog on a daily basis, and the iTunes Store is updated each Tuesday. Downloaded songs come with song information name, artist, album already filled out, though iTunes provides a free service by Gracenote to do this for songs not purchased from the store, although they must be imported with iTunes.
Songs that have an entry in the iTunes Store also come with album artwork Artwork is embedded in the metadata. Artwork can be obtained for songs not purchased from the store for free if the user has an iTunes Store account. Purchased songs do not come with lyrics, nor does iTunes provide a service for acquiring the missing lyrics.
However, several third-party applications exist to locate and automatically add lyrics to the user's music. Some songs are available from the store by "Album Only", meaning the song can only be acquired through the purchase of the entire album, whereas most songs can be downloaded separately from the album they belong to.
Songs above 10 minutes in length are by default Album Only songs. Soundtracks also often have many Album Only tracks. Sometimes, the minute restriction works in an artist's favor. Examples of this include Prince's Lovesexy and the deluxe version of Phoenix's Bankrupt!
Movie soundtracks normally include songs owned by many different labels, making licensing more complex. Greatest Hits by Red Hot Chili Peppers has only one song, " Higher Ground ", that is not available for download on a per song basis, whilst Circus Britney Spears ' album has two songs that are available for album download only, Rock Me In and Phonography.
Some albums area available from the store by "Partial Album", meaning that albums cannot be entirely purchased, but that one or more of the tracks that can be purchased on the physical CD version of them aren't included, e. Some tracks are listed as "Work Only", which means they can only be obtained by purchasing the entire piece of work within the album ; the tracks cannot be bought as singles.
Works are generally pieces of classical music: symphonies, string quartets, etc. In September , Apple introduced the iTunes LP format known pre-launch by the code name "Cocktail"  which features visual, interactive content alongside album tracks and lyrics. When entering the US music store, there are multiple sections one can visit. Music is divided into genres Alternative, Classical, Jazz, Soundtrack, etc.
Telemundo and Mun2 made some of their popular programs available for purchase, becoming the first Hispanic television content in the store. It offers music, music videos, audiobooks, podcasts and television shows in Spanish in a single concentrated area. The brief descriptions given to the content are in Spanish as well as several subcategories.
It features 11 songs, all from previous albums, but all sung in Spanish. In , Apple created Mastered for iTunes. When iTunes launched, the decision was made to standardize on AAC instead of the more popular MP3 format on the supposition that it offers better quality compared to other codecs at similar bit rates.
This set of tools allows Mastering Engineers to audition Apple's proprietary encoding during the mastering process to take into account how music will eventually interact with Apple's encoding. In addition to auditioning the encoder, there is also a tool called afclip that processes the audio file and creates a text file for audio clips. Because of this special encoding process, extra attention must be paid to headroom and inter-sample peaking while mastering.
With the rebranding the high resolution masters are now available with Apple Music through streaming. While most downloaded files initially included usage restrictions enforced by FairPlay , Apple's implementation of digital rights management DRM , iTunes later initiated a shift into selling DRM-free music in most countries, marketed as iTunes Plus. There is a policy of censoring profanity in titles on iTunes.
If a song is marked "explicit" it is unavailable for purchase if "restrict explicit content" is checked under the parental controls preference. Often there will be a "clean" mark next to the title of some songs, meaning the lyrics have been censored, and is available to purchase on all accounts. Generally if a song is marked "clean" there is an explicit version available as well.
In the first 18 hours, the iTunes store sold about , tracks,   and more than 1 million tracks were sold in its first 5 days. A song sold on iTunes gives the artist 9 cents in profit. They also reported that customers were purchasing 2. On April 28, , iTunes Music Store marked its first anniversary with 70 million songs sold, clear dominance in the paid online music market and a slight profit. In the conference, Steve Jobs reiterated that a subscription service is still not in the interest of customers and reported that only 5 million of the million songs offered in the Pepsi giveaway campaign were redeemed, which he blamed on technical problems in Pepsi distribution.
According to an Apple press release dated August 10, , iTunes Music Store was the first store to have a catalog of more than one million songs.
The emerging monopoly of the store was criticized in by Mike Lang of Miramax for "effectively strangling the industry". He says that because the music industry has allowed too few content providers, it is now suffering.
Lang views the issue as being more of a threat than music piracy. On July 5, , Apple announced a promotion counting down to half a billion songs sold. Originally only Mac OS X users who had credit cards with a US billing address could buy songs with the service, but Steve Jobs announced plans to support both Windows and non-American users.
The Windows version of iTunes and support for the Windows platform from iTunes Music Store were announced on October 16, , with immediate availability. Beginning in , the service has become available in a number of countries other than the United States:. To buy files through the store, a user must install the proprietary digital media player iTunes to access the store. This software is available only for certain versions of the Macintosh or Windows operating systems.
Apple also offers other payment methods like PayPal , which differ from country to country. Residents in other countries can only buy a gift card from a merchant or download free podcasts and previews. FairPlay is built into the MP4 multimedia file format as an encrypted AAC audio layer, and is used by the company to protect copyrighted works sold through the store, allowing only authorized devices to play the content.
On Super Bowl Sunday , February 1, , Apple launched a promotion with Pepsi in which they gave away million songs, through tokens on selected soft drink bottle caps. Unfortunately for Apple, Pepsi failed to properly distribute the bottles to major metropolitan areas until only weeks before the promotion ended, despite a one-month extension of the deadline by Apple.
The promotion was repeated beginning January 31, , with million songs available, and an iPod Mini given away every hour. On July 1, , Apple announced that, starting with the sale of the 95 millionth song, an iPod would be given away to the buyer of each thousandth song, for a total of 50 iPods. Ten days later, on July 11, Apple announced that million songs had been sold through iTunes Music Store. Slurpee frozen beverage until July 31, Songs could be redeemed until August 31, by entering a code printed on the Slurpee cup into iTunes Music Store application.
Coca-Cola did this in spite of having its own music store, myCoke Music. On July 5, , Apple announced that they were counting down to half a billion songs. The buyer of every thousandth song up to million would receive an iPod Mini and a song gift card. The grand prize for the person who downloads the millionth song was 10 iPods of their choice, a 10,song gift card, 10 song gift cards or 4 tickets to the Coldplay world tour.
Twelve days later, on July 17, Apple announced that million songs had been sold through iTunes Music Store. On July 28, , Apple and The Gap announced a promotion to award iTunes music downloads to Gap customers who tried on a pair of Gap jeans. On February 7, , Apple announced that they were counting down to the billionth song download and began a promotion similar to the previous million and million countdown.
On July 25, , Facebook and iTunes began offering a promotion where members of the Apple Students group would receive a free 25 song sampler each week until September 30 in various music genres. The idea behind the promotion was to get students more familiar and enthusiastic with each service as Autumn classes approached. In addition, the promotion caused discontent among international students, as the code was only valid in the US iTunes Music Store.
On April 10, , Apple announced that it will be counting down to the billionth app.