25 Billion Reasons to Respect Apple in Music

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) is still here, folks.

The consumer tech giant is letting the public know that it has now sold more than 25 billion songs since iTunes Music Store made its debut 10 years ago.

It's a pretty big deal, and not just because it's such a huge number.

The last time that Apple put out a number it was 16 billion songs, and this was in October 2011. So, sure, iTunes has been around since 2003, but one may assume that nearly a third of those 25 billion downloads have taken place over the past year alone.

With 26 million songs available in 119 different countries, Apple is the undisputed champ in this space.

Apple doesn't get enough credit for this. All of the buzz goes to streaming speedsters Pandora (NYSE: P  ) and Spotify.

Pandora's certainly growing like an infectious summertime pop hit. The music-discovery pioneer announced this morning that it had 65.6 million active listeners at the end of January. Yes, this is a sequential decline from its 67.1 million active listeners in December, but we're still looking at a 38% spike over the past year. Listener hours for January matched the 1.39 billion it recorded in December, but this is still a 47% advance since January of last year.

Apple doesn't provide monthly or even quarterly performance metrics for iTunes, but it's a safe bet that Apple isn't growing as quickly as Pandora.

However, that can always change. Pandora takes a hit when reports surface about Apple's inevitable entry into personalized radio, assuming that the country's leading music retailer will be swiping at Pandora's market share.

Streaming is certainly getting crowded these days.

Microsoft introduced Xbox Music in October. Google followed quickly in announcing a licensing deal with the last of the major labels for its Android-friendly Google Play platform. After months of discussing its entry into streaming, Sirius XM Radio finally introduced its platform -- in beta -- last month.

Apple will be here, and soon.

How well it fares -- whether this is the next iTunes or another Ping -- will depend on product and pricing. However, Apple's name and girth makes it an immediate contender.

You don't sell 25 billion digital song downloads without knowing what you're doing.

Apple jacks
There's no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more important, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2240004, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/27/2016 8:44:27 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 11 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,094.83 -166.62 -0.91%
S&P 500 2,146.10 -18.59 -0.86%
NASD 5,257.49 -48.26 -0.91%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/26/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $112.88 Up +0.17 +0.15%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
P $13.99 Down -0.10 -0.71%
Pandora Media CAPS Rating: **