How Apple took a bite of the Music Industry

The music industry forever changed on October 23, 2001. On that day, Apple had a press release stating, “Apple today introduced iPod, a breakthrough MP3 music player that packs up to 1,000 CD-quality songs into an ultra-portable, 6.5 oz design that fits in our pocket”. During that same release, CEO Steve Jobs was quoted: “With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again”.

He was right.

By the end of 2001, Apple had sold 125,000 iPods. As of 2010, 225 million iPods have been sold-and counting.

How does the competition stack up again Apple’s iPod? They don’t. Apple is the leader in the Mp3 player marketplace by a long shot. With a 74% share as of 2009, there’s no sign that the stylish user-friendly iPod is going to disappear any time soon. When Microsoft’s  Zune was introduced in November of 2006 as the “iPod killer”,  it quickly found this out the hard way. Zune currently has only 1% share of the Mp3-player market.

The iPod coupled with iTunes has given its users an easy way to find the music they love. This beautiful relationship has set up iTunes nicely to become a major juggernaut in the online music marketplace. With a 69% share, they clearly trump other competitors such as Amazon, Rhapsody, and Zune. How much impact has Apple had on the music industry? About 1 in every 4 songs sold in the U.S. are sold through iTunes. That’s amazing.  And how was this affected the number of brick-and-mortar music chain stores? The number of retail music stores in operation in 1991 was 9,500. By 2006, that number dwindled to 2,000 and continues to decrease.

Whether you love or hate Apple, there’s no denying that their iPod has made a significant impact on the way people consume music. A single device that can hold all of your favorite music that is ready to be listened to at any time, anywhere has replaced stacks of CD cases. In addition the iTunes music store has impacted music retail storefronts and has revolutionized our ability to purchase our favorite songs on go.

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