On Wednesday, Apple announced that the 25 bilionth song had been downloaded from iTunes, by a man in Germany.
On Wednesday, Apple announced that the 25 bilionth song had been downloaded from iTunes, by a man in Germany.

Story highlights

Apple announces that 25 billion songs have been downloaded from iTunes

"Monkey Drums (Goksel Vancin Remix)," by British house-music DJ Chase Buch, was the tune

Other milestone downloads: Sinatra, Coldplay, Faith Hill and Johnny Cash

On Wednesday, Apple announced a pretty mind-boggling stat: The 25 billionth song had been downloaded on iTunes.

That’s billion. With a b.

Since launching the iPod in 2001, and iTunes in 2003, Apple has been a leader in digital music, virtually defining the space for competitors like Amazon and Google.

Here are five interesting facts about the milestone:

1. Who did it?

Phillip Lupke of Germany was the lucky downloader. For happening to click at the right nanosecond, he’ll be getting a 10,000-Euro ($13,528) iTunes gift card.

And it was no easy task. According to Apple, users download an average of 15,000 songs every minute.

2. What was the tune?

You’ve probably never heard of it.

Sorry. Hipster moment over. We hadn’t heard of it either.

Monkey Drums (Goksel Vancin Remix)” was the jam in question. It’s by Chase Buch, a British DJ and producer who’s well known in the house-music scene. It’s not so big on lyrics. Which is to say, it doesn’t have any. And it probably comes across better when you’re shaking it in a crowd of sweaty club kids than, say, sipping coffee and doing the New York Times crossword.

3. Other iTunes milestones

25 millionth song – “Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” Frank Sinatra, 2003

100 millionth – “Somersault (Danger Mouse remix),” by English electronica band Zero 7, 2004

500 millionth – “Mississippi Girl,” Faith Hill, 2005

1 billionth – “Speed of Sound,” Coldplay, 2006

10 billionth – “Guess Things Happen That Way,” Johnny Cash, 2010

Alex Ostrovsky, from West Bloomfield, Michigan, was the luckiest of downloaders. For the billionth download, he scored a 20-inch iMac, 10 fifth-generation iPods and a $10,000 gift card, not to mention a scholarship set up by Apple at the Julliard School of Music in his name.

4. 25 billion is a lot

Obvious, right? But how much is it?

Well, it’s roughly equal to three-and-a-half songs for every person on Earth.

By way of comparison, the Guiness Book of World Records lists “White Christmas” as the top-selling song of all time at around 100 million copies. Multiply that by 250 and you get 25 billion.

Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is the No. 1 selling album of all time with more than 42 million certified sales. It would need to do that again almost 600 times to hit 25 billion.

For a little more tech industry-specific comparison, Google’s Play Store hit 25 billion downloads in September for mobile apps running on its Android operating system.

5. More iTunes by the numbers

More than 350 million – number of iPods sold

119 – number of countries where iTunes is available

26 million – number of songs available on iTunes

More than 1 million – number of songs sold on iTunes during its first week in April 2003