Apple on Monday started a new promotion to celebrate its pending sale of 500 million songs through Apple’s
iTunes Music Store. Apple is giving prize packages to customers who hit 100,000 song intervals and a grand prize package to the customer who buys the 500 millionth song.
Apple’s iTunes Music Store launched in 2003, initially only available for Macintosh users in North America. Later that year Apple introduced the software for Windows, and in 2004 expanded the reach of the iTunes Music Store to include the U.K., France and Germany. Since then, Apple has furthered iTunes’ influence, bringing it to more than a dozen other European countries and to Canada as well. Apple now estimates that more than 70 percent of the global music market has access to an iTunes Music Store.
In January, Apple announced that worldwide iTunes Music Store sales had surpassed 250 million; they followed that up with a March announcement that iTunes song downloads had passed 300 million. In May that number ratcheted up to 400 million, as Apple introduced iTunes Music Stores local to four more European countries.
To celebrate the 500 millionth song sold and downloaded using the service, Apple is giving away an iPod mini and iTunes gift card redeemable for 50 songs to the iTunes customers who purchase the winning song at each 100,000 song interval. The customer who downloads the 500 millionth song wins a grand prize — 10 iPods of their choice to share with their family and friends, an iTunes gift card for 10,000 songs and an all-expenses paid trip for four to see Coldplay on their world tour.