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April 25, 2013 | CEO's Corner

A Fruitful Anniversary for iTunes

We congratulate Apple’s iTunes on its 10 year anniversary. Truly, iTunes was a major breakthrough for the music business. It had a profound influence on the direction of the industry – no one had managed to offer fans such a simple, seamless and intuitive music listening experience until iTunes came along. It suddenly became clear that anyone, non-techies and techies alike, could satisfy their impulse to own and play music in less than a minute’s time. iTunes made that a reality.

It also was clear that at iTunes’ core was an appreciation for music. That’s reflective of Steve Jobs – he not only valued music but he respected the work that went into creating it. Sure, Steve and many in the music industry didn’t always see eye to eye, but no one could doubt Steve’s passion for music and affinity for its creators.

What’s interesting is that, despite the expansion of iTunes into other sectors like movies, TV shows and books, it’s still called iTunes. Why? Because music was and remains the driver for innovation. Apple re-invented itself with the launch of the iPod, a device focused exclusively on music. And music continues to be a mainstay of the consumer experience Apple wants to offer, as evidenced by its interest in a streaming music service. In fact, we’re now seeing almost all of the major tech players venturing into the music space. We’re delighted that music continues to drive innovation.

Cary Sherman
Chairman & CEO


RIAA Chart: music industry revenues in 2004 – the year after iTunes launched – vs. industry revenues in 2012, courtesy of RIAA shipment database. Please note: re-use of the chart requires attribution to the RIAA.