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iTunes Sells Its 10 Billionth MP3

February 25, 2010

An online counter on the company’s website read “10 billion songs downloaded from iTunes. And counting.”

A $10,000 Apple iTunes gift card was promised to the person who made the iconic 10 billionth purchase. Louie Sulcer of Woodstock, Georgia, who purchased the Johnny Cash song — released in 1958 — won the iTunes gift card for catapulting Apple to 10 billion downloads.

Apple released information on the top 25 most downloaded songs to coincide with the landmark download.

The Black Eyed Peas took the top spot with “I Gotta Feeling” and also the third spot with “Boom Boom Pow.” Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” was number two. She also had two other hits in the top 25.

British artists Coldplay and Leona Lewis both had songs in the top 10, while Flo Rida, Katy Perry and Rihanna all are credited with two songs apiece in the top 25.

The top 25 tracks were all released in the last five years, with the exception of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” released in 1981. The song has gained popularity after being featured on the TV show Glee.

The iTunes store, launched in 2003, was a digital savior for the music industry, which was struggling with piracy issues and plummeting album sales. The store initially offered songs at 99 cents each, but over the years has grown to include television programs, movies, and other content.

Song prices were changed in April of last year, and now digital tracks on the site go for 69 cents, 99 cents, or $1.29 with studios deciding their pricing scale. The pricing change was made to curtail studios from demanding digital rights management software that keeps music from being copied, according to Apple.

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