April 28, 2003: iTunes Becomes a Revenue Stream

by Chris Seibold Apr 28, 2011

What started out as a decent way to manage your music files and became a seamless way to keep your iPod synced underwent a profound change when it also became a way to purchase music. Steve Jobs pitched the iTunes store as both consumer- and artist- friendly by saying:

"Consumers don't want to be treated like criminals and artists don't want their valuable work stolen. The iTunes Music Store offers a groundbreaking solution for both."

The part Steve Jobs left out was that Apple wanted a way to make the iPod truly indispensable and ever more drool worthy. The iTunes music store accomplished both. Users loved the convenience of over 200,000 tracks available at the iTunes store and Apple loved the fact that if you wanted to play them on a digital audio player you had to use an iPod. The store that changed the way people thought about acquiring music was introduced on April 28, 2003. For Macs only.

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  • I wouldn’t buy a single song from iTunes because an album costs $10 or more. If I buy a physical copy, I also pay $10. So why should I pay the same amount to get 128kbps audio when I can get lossless audio? Or I can choose I rip into whatever quality I want!
    This may be different from other people who wants only a song which they like from an album, I’m the type that wants the whole album even though there might be some tracks I will never listen to.

    wackybit had this to say on Apr 28, 2006 Posts: 16
  • This is truly a historic day- it may go down in history as the day music _truly_ and legally went digital.

    @wackybit, I do agree with you in general but some times one song is just not worth $10 for the entire album. I like the option of choosing which songs to get. Also, I find it is a great way to sample artists by buying the one song you really like and have heard and then buying the entire album only if you don’t get sick of that one song.

    Devanshu Mehta had this to say on Apr 28, 2006 Posts: 108
  • wackybit, you comments are not totally off the mark but are not totally honest ether. A quick check of some of the new releases show a wide spread. Some Albums on iTMS were 9.99, while the same CD might sell for over $15 on amazon. Others, I found where iTMS listed them for $20 and amazon had them for $14. Some had slightly different song selections (bonus videos on iTMS and bonus songs on the CD).

    So I guess what I’m saying is that if 128kbps does not bother you (which obviously it does not for many people) then you should not blindly buy from the iTMS assumng it will be the lowest album price around, but nor should you discount it. And lets face it, much of the allure to the iTMS is the instant gratification. As my wife put it just last night. “Man that’s a whole lot easier than going to the store to buy music”.

    Doug Petrosky had this to say on Apr 28, 2006 Posts: 26
  • You may get a CD as cheap as an iStore album, but often times you can’t find the album you want for that price, and it’s not worth looking very hard.

    And if you only want one song from that album, why pay for the whole album?

    Howard Brazee had this to say on Apr 29, 2010 Posts: 54
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