Apple's iTunes Store serves up 10 billionth song

Downloads have averaged 1 billion per year since the store's launch in 2003

Apple's iTunes Store hit a landmark on Wednesday with the download of its 10 billionth song.

A counter on the company's home page hit the 10 billion mark at 9:43 p.m. GMT -- approximately 6 years and 10 months since the store first opened in the U.S. Back then it was known as the iTunes Music Store and served just music but it has since expanded to include video, TV shows and podcasts.

Timeline: iTunes Store at 10 billion

The customer who snagged the 10 billionth download will receive a US$10,000 iTunes gift card from Apple, the company said.

That's roughly enough money to fill an iPod Touch to capacity with music from the store -- a generous gift for any music lover, but not as generous as the package on offer when the store hit its billionth download in 2006. Then Apple offered a similar gift card but also a 20-inch iMac, 10 60GB iPods, and a music-school scholarship set up in the winner's name.

The most downloaded song of the 10 billion is The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling," according to a ranking published by Apple. The band's "Boom Boom Pow" scored the number-three song, giving it two songs in the top 20.

Singing sensation Lady GaGa had the second and sixth positions with "Poker Face" and "Just Dance" and Katy Perry also managed to get two songs in the ranking, with "I Kissed A Girl" and "Hot N Cold" at positions 13 and 15, respectively.

Apple didn't disclose the number of downloads per song.

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Martyn Williams

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