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iTunes Celebrates 10 Years
By: Greg Dorn
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It’s hard to imagine a world without iTunes. We once resorted to music piracy and burned CDs to fill our 80 GB iPods. There simply was no other option. Some vowed never to buy music again. After all, why would you pay when you could get it for free? Then, Apple churned out a game-changer that turned the record business on its head. The product was so seamless, so elegantly designed, it became nearly impossible to resist those 99-cent price tags. On April 28, iTunes will celebrate its tenth birthday. But like most things in the world of technology, time may not be on its side.
 
In Apple’s storied history, ten years stands as an eternity. Many forget the magnitude of change that iTunes projected right out of the gate. In only four months, the public downloaded 10 million songs from the iTunes catalogue. It would only take another three months for that number to reach 25 million. With iPods in the pocket of everyone from your girlfriend to your grandma, the revolutionary music player now had the perfect companion. Music-sharing services like Napster and BearShare became obsolete. The record industry certainly felt the heat with the demise of Tower and Sam Goody. iTunes had nowhere to go but up. However, the business model of owning our music is starting to falter. Smartphones and tablets have given it one last gasp. But don’t be surprised to see iTunes out of gas in the next couple of years.
 
With the release of the iPhone and iPod Touch in 2007, we received the ability to access iTunes on the go. At this point, movies and TV shows were added to the mix, adding a whole new facet to the scope of iTunes. Now in the year 2013, the same mobile devices that stepped up the game stand to destroy iTunes. The culprit? Streaming services.
 
With the growing popularity of products like Pandora and iHeartRadio, there’s no longer a need to shell out the bucks for our music. The same can be said for purchasing TV shows or movies when you can have unlimited access for $7.99 a month (Netflix). In fact, studies have shown that most young people flock to YouTube to get their music. So is iTunes in trouble? Yes. Does Apple have an answer? Quite possibly. Rumors have been circulating for the last couple of years that Apple would create its own music streaming service (iRadio?). With the release of Twitter #music and other industry jabber, this seems more likely than ever.
 
So as we stand here and celebrate ten years of iTunes, we might also be saying goodbye. Do you think iTunes will be around in five years? Let us know in the comments below.


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About the Author
Greg Dorn is a blogger, writer, and obsessed with everything technology and social media. Greg is absolutely captivated with the recent advancements in mobile gadgets, making our world more seamlessly connected. You can learn more about him on his own blog here
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