Charting The iTunes Store’s Path To 25 Billion Songs Sold, 40 Billion Apps Downloaded And Beyond

Apple today announced a new sales milestone for its iTunes digital music store, with 25 billion songs sold. The news follows an announcement made earlier this month that the App Store has had over 40 billion app downloads since its founding. For the iTunes music store, the new record comes just shy of its 10 year anniversary, but for the App Store, the growth has been quicker, with the larger number accumulated over approximately four and a half years.

Apple has been pretty consistent in terms of releasing numbers to the public whenever it crosses a key iTunes store download or sales milestone, often unveiling the numbers at developer events like WWDC, press conferences held to reveal new products, or during quarterly earnings calls in addition to through standalone announcements like this one. So we’ve created a chart that tracks the progress of both stores.


All numbers used here are sourced from official Apple claims made during the types of events or in the types of documents mentioned above. In addition to the historical figures, we’ve included rough projections for next year based on the past numbers and rates of growth resulting from crunching those numbers. Both stores show similar annual growth rates between the most recent yearly figures, but the App Store’s much larger current download volume suggests it will reach a much higher total number next year if things remain more or less constant. That said, it could be a volatile time for both digital marketplaces, as Android gains ground and streaming music services continue their strategy of expansion and partnerships with OEM manufacturers.

Some other interesting tidbits to put these numbers in context: Apple’s iTunes growth means that were you to average out the number of songs downloaded across the entire global population, it’d come out to 3.57 songs per person, and 25 billion songs also adds up to a daily average of 7,002,585 songs downloaded per day over the 9 years, 9 months and 9 days of the iTunes Store’s existence.

Apple’s iTunes music store song purchases grew 25 percent between today and the last time it reported figures, which was when it announced over 20 billion at a press event in September. That’s about a 65 percent annual growth rate, which beats the three-year annual average of around 50 percent when measuring progress since 2010, and could indicate the store is actually seeing an increase in the rate of growth, but it’s also possible the holiday bump between those two dates is having an outsized effect on how the growth rate looks at this particular moment.