iTunes achieves one billion mark

A teenager in the US has made the one billionth purchase from Apple's online music service iTunes. Alex Ostrovsky from West Bloomfield in Michigan bought Coldplay's Speed of Sound which cost less than one dollar. The 16-year-old won a number of prizes, including ten music players, while Apple has said they will set up a music scholarship in his name. The service was established three years ago and its sales have surpassed many conventional outlets in the US. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the billionth download represented "a major force against music piracy and the future of music distribution as we move from CDs to the Internet". CD decline Music purchases over the Internet have led to a decline in CD sales in the US, according to official data. According to Nielsen Soundscan, 618.9 million albums were sold in 2005, down from 762.8 million in 2001. Nielsen also reported that traffic to the iTunes site during 2005 grew by 241%, with the number of people visiting the site growing from 6.1 million in 2004 to 20.7 million a year later. Around 14% of active Internet users are regularly using the service. Teenagers are the biggest group of visitors to the site, and are twice as likely to use it than any other group. Apple made changes to the iTunes software after complaints were received about invasion of privacy. A system which recommended tracks other downloaders might like to buy contained unique information which was seen as a threat to privacy.

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