iTunes approaches 10 billion downloads

In 2003, Apple launched iTunes and changed the way we buy and listen to music. Now, just seven years later, the market-dominating music store is closing in on a remarkable milestone – 10 billion songs downloaded.

Yes, that's 10 billion.

To celebrate, Apple has launched a "Countdown to 10 Billion Song Downloads" competition. Starting Thursday, anyone who downloads a song on iTunes or enters the contest on the iTunes web site is eligible to win. The contest will run until the 10 billionth song is downloaded.

The winner will receive a whopping $10,000 gift certificate for the iTunes store, which basically translates to free music and videos for life!

Along with the contest, Apple for the first time published the 25 most-downloaded songs in the history of iTunes. There weren't too many surprises with Black Eyed Peas and Lady Gaga leading the way. The list was heavily skewed towards recent releases, which reflects the ever-increasing army of iPods in the marketplace.

The only "oldie" making the list was Journey's Don't Stop Believin', and that's largely thanks to a strong second wind courtesy of the hit TV show The Sopranos.

Here's the entire list:

1) "I Gotta Feeling," Black Eyed Peas
2) "Poker Face," Lady Gaga
3) "Boom Boom Pow," Black Eyed Peas
4) "I'm Yours," Jason Mraz
5) "Viva la Vida," Coldplay
6) "Just Dance," Lady Gaga & Colby O'Donis
7) "Low," Flo Rida (featuring T-Pain)
8) "Love Story," Taylor Swift
9) "Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis
10) "TiK ToK," Ke$ha
11) "Disturbia," Rihanna
12) "So What," Pink
13) "I Kissed a Girl," Katy Perry
14) "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," Beyoncé
15) "Hot N Cold," Katy Perry
16) "Stronger," Kanye West
17) "Live Your Life," T.I. (featuring Rihanna)
18) "Hey There Delilah," Plain White T's
19) "Right Round," Flo Rida
20) "Party in the U.S.A.," Miley Cyrus
21) "Don't Stop Believin'," Journey
22) "Bad Romance," Lady Gaga
23) "Use Somebody," Kings of Leon
24) "Fireflies," Owl City
25) "How to Save a Life," the Fray

iTunes most-downloaded songs of all time, as of February 11, 2010

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