More than 50 million songs have been purchased and downloaded from Apple's European iTunes Music Stores in their first year.

iTunes Music Stores were launched in the UK, France and Germany in June 2004, and now operate in 17 European countries including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The European iTunes Music Stores have catalogues of over one million songs each, and feature content from all major music companies and over 1,000 independent record labels.

“We’re thrilled to have sold and delivered over 50 million songs in our first year,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of Applications. “We’d like to thank European music fans for making iTunes such a success.”

Since its launch just two years ago, the iTunes Music Store has extended its reach to more than 70 per cent of the global music market with stores in 19 countries, including the US and Canada, and more than 430 million songs purchased and downloaded worldwide.