The Billionth Download on Apple's iTunes--Hooray for Innovation!

Bruce Nussbaum

BBC News reports that a 16-year old from West Bloomfield, Michigan, bought Coldplay's Speed of Sound and made his buy the billionth purchase from Apple's online iTunes. Tbis is a signal event in our era for it shows the social and economic power of game-changing innovation. Apple didn't just make a cooler, easier-to-use MP3 player, it revolutionized music distribution and enabled millions of people to create, manage and share their own personal music libraries.

A couple of stats: According to Nielsen Soundscan, traffic to iTunes during 2005 rose by 241%, with the number of people going to the site rising from 6.1 million in 2004 to 20.7 million a year later. Teenagers are the biggest users of iTunes and are twice as likely to use it than any other group (yeah, remember when music was THE most important thing in your life--well, almost...).