As Europe's Midem music industry convention continues Apple today announced that it has sold over 250 million songs.

iTunes Music Store customers in fifteen countries are now downloading one and a quarter million songs every day, the company revealed. The store is open in 15 countries, and the stated download rate suggests Apple will soon be selling "almost half a billion songs" each year.

Apple's fifteen music stores cater for 70 per cent of the global music market, in terms of territories by sales.

Clealry exultant, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: “When we launched the iTunes Music Store we were hoping to sell a million songs in the first six months - now we’re selling over a million songs every day, and we’ve sold over a quarter billion songs in total."

“iTunes is leading the way into the digital music era and together with iPod is changing the way millions of music lovers find and enjoy their music.”

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) last week said that global song download sales multiplied by a factor of ten in 2004, and are set to double again this year.

The digital music market was worth $330 million in 2004 - up on 2003 and set to double in 2005 (Jupiter research). This represents about 1.5 per cent of record company revenues.