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Apple’s music retailer, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on Sunday, has changed the way people access and consume entertainment. But iTunes may need to reinvent itself to stay on top as subscription services like Spotify increase in popularity.
When Apple launched its iTunes music store a decade ago amid the ashes of Napster, the music industry — reeling from the effects of online piracy — was anxious to see how the new music service would shake out.
“The sky was falling, and iTunes provided a place where we were going to monetize music and in theory stem the tide of piracy. So, it was certainly a solution for the time,” said Michael McDonald, who co-founded ATO Records with Dave Matthews and whose Mick Management roster includes John Mayer and Ray LaMontagne.
The iTunes music store became much more than a solution; it changed how we consume music and access entertainment. It’s not only music’s biggest retailer, it also dominates the digital video market, capturing 67 percent of the TV show sale market and 65 percent of the movie sale market, according to information company NPD group. Its apps are the most profitable, it has expanded to books and magazines, and it is now available in 119 countries. This week, iTunes posted a record $2.4 billion in revenue in first-quarter earnings.