The iTunes Store Turns 10: Some Weird Musical Revelations From Its History

Sam Lansky | April 24, 2013 3:07 pm

Hey! It’s the 10th birthday of the iTunes Store, and Apple has very helpfully put up a sort of timeline going back through the store’s 10-year history, with all kinds of nifty trivia about what songs have performed well (The Black Eyed Peas!) and what artists got an early start on iTunes (a lot of them!), and it’s a nice opportunity to reflect upon huge-selling songs and albums past, especially from a few years ago when things were, well, a little bit darker. (We’re talking Hoobastank‘s “The Reason” being the third-best-selling song of 2004-level darkness.)

Here are some noteworthy discoveries:

1. The top-selling song of 2003 on iTunes was OutKast‘s “Hey Ya!”, which is still a great song.

2. The top-selling album of 2003 was Jack Johnson‘s On and On, which says a lot about how far we’ve come, doesn’t it? (The second was Sting‘s Sacred Love.)

3. The top-selling song of 2006 on iTunes was Daniel Powter‘s “Bad Day,” which is still super annoying.

4. In 2007, Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat both had their songs featured as Single of the Week and then became pretty big. More importantly, in 2008, the same thing happened to Adele. In 2009, the same thing happened to Owl City. (Note that there is no implied quality trajectory here.)

5. Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” was the top-selling song of 2012, and also the best song of that year, which is great that that finally happened. (Pretty sure it was the first time — no shade, 2010’s “Party Rock Anthem.”)

The whole timeline is up at and it’s worth poking around if you’re into that sort of pop nostalgia, and really, who isn’t?