This Sunday Apple's iTunes app reached an astounding milestone; it turned 10 years old. Originally launched on January 9, 2001 – nine months before the introduction of the iPod on October 23, 2001 – the app has gained many fans and enemies over the course of its decade long evolution. In that time span, iTunes went from zero to selling over 10 billion songs and gained control of 66.2 percent of the digital music market. It also expanded its scope as a digital music retailer and has went onto offer movies, TV shows, podcasts, iTunes U, Internet radio, App downloads, and book downloads.
Love iTunes or hate it, the app is what many fans know to be the only place to buy digital music – if they do at all. While Amazon has attempted to cut into their market share by offering deep discounts into a variety of titles, they've since only gained a mere 13.3 percent share. While the record industry openly affirms their discontent with Apple's market dominance, they have yet to empower a company capable of challenging them. Many hope that the launch of Google Music will take a chunk out of iTunes simply by offering fans a reputable place to buy music within search results. Once launched, there will be less of a need to download the iTunes app, surf inside their walled garden of content, and buy from them.
That's the hope anyways. But fans are habitual and stubborn, so we'll see. Until then, Apple is in a very safe place. Especially since Spotify isn't around... yet.