The iTunes Store is a 2003 originally to sell music launched by Apple Internet trading platform, the offer was expanded in the following years on music videos, films and TV series. Since 2008, Apple also uses the infrastructure to offer under the name App Store (iOS ) programs for iOS devices such as the iPhone. Early 2011, Apple expanded the offer also. Through the Mac App Store for Mac OS X programs Moreover, it is possible to buy from the iTunes Store for eBooks and read on mobile devices from Apple, with the help of the free iBooks app.
Until 21 September 2006, the iTunes Store was operated under the name "iTunes Music Store ". Owner is the company Apple Inc. and Apple's subsidiaries "iTunes S.à.rl " in Europe and "iTunes KK " in Japan. The iTunes Store is the world's leading online platform for music.
The iTunes Store was launched on 28 April 2003, first in the U.S. with more than 200,000 songs from all areas, including Classic, Rock, Pop, Rap, Jazz, New Age, audio books and many more. The iTunes Store is relying on the MP4 format, the AAC audio coding at a bit rate of first 128 kbit / s and the DRM system FairPlay. The title purchased may be stored on up to five computers simultaneously under Apple's iTunes jukebox software and play and they can also offered within the Apple licensing model loaded as often and to as many iPods and in a playlist, that is, in the same compilation of music, be burned to audio CDs up to five times. In addition, the cover of the song or album is downloaded. The DRM system FairPlay ensures this is that the music, apart from self-burned CDs with iTunes, Apple TV, Motorola's iTunes phone, the iPhone, and any iPod can play. Thus, the iTunes Music Store from Apple is also used as a marketing platform for the iPod and also for the own computer.
The use of the iTunes Store requires iTunes program, which can be downloaded for free from Apple for Mac OS X as well as Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. The database search as well as the pre-listening the music ( 90 seconds at full quality ) is possible for all users. The standard price for a piece of music was in Germany and Austria at 0.99 per song and € 9.99 for an album in Switzerland at 1.50 francs per song and 15 francs per album. DRM -free tracks were on offer "iTunes Plus" with a bit rate of 256 kbit / s offered at the same price of 0.99 euros per piece.
On 6 January 2009, the availability of DRM - free titles has been expanded to 80 % of the catalog. The remaining 20 % were converted in the second quarter of 2009. In addition, with this date a new pricing model introduced: 69 cents for older titles, 99 cents for current pieces and 1.29 euros for new "hits". In addition, is now open access to the iTunes Store via a mobile Internet connection on the iPhone.
Purchasing is currently about paying by credit card, gift voucher (iTunes card), direct debit (via the ClickandBuy service ) or by means of prepaid cards.
About the sale of music, the iTunes Store Apple now serves as a distribution channel for many digital content such as movies, television series, music videos and e-books. The American rival company Google tried by the Play Store a similar platform, mainly to provide for the users of its Android mobile operating system. The offer here is still significantly lower and some offers are not available from Germany.
The service was initially available only in the United States. Since June 2004, he is also in the UK, France and Germany online. In October 2004, nine other states have been included in the download machinery, namely Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. The Canadian Apple store opened late in December. In May 2005, Apple switched in addition to the stores in Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The Australian iTS was intended for an opening along with the four European, but was postponed due to licensing issues. On 4 August 2005, the iTunes Music Store was opened in Japan. In the meantime ( January 2010), the iTunes Store in 77 countries is open. The iTunes Store is available only in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.
Initially, there were in the iTS in Germany only performers who have their contracts with the major labels, and later the indie labels were allowed to move in with their interpreters. Apple provides over 5 million titles available for download in Europe. Here, the catalog and the number of offered titles from country to country. The official number of tracks in iTS United States now amounts to over 8 million. The offer is constantly expanding.
Meanwhile, Apple sold worldwide about 3 million songs per day to continue rising. On 24 February 2006, the billionth song from the Music Store has been loaded, the buyer was thus the winner of a 20-inch iMac, 10 iPods (60 GB ) and a $ 10,000 shopping voucher.
Beginning of October 2008 called the Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the increase in license fees by 66 per cent from 9 to 15 cents. Apple did not give the demand: "Apple has repeatedly made it clear that it wants to make money in this business. Apple is not willing to iTunes Store continue to operate if it is no longer profitable. " A vote took place on 3 October 2008 with the Copyright Royalty Board. According to the industry association NMPA the royalty rate will remain at 9.1 cents per song.
- Echo 2011: in the category: "Retail Partner of the Year"