Apple CEO Steve Jobs expects Apple's iTunes Music Store to offer "over one million tracks" as available for sale by the end of 2004, he said today.
The service currently has 700,000 tracks available for sale through its service. He said: "We started from 200,000 songs a year ago. We now have 700,000. We expect to offer over a million songs for sale by the end of the year."
Speaking to the press, Jobs describes Apple as "thrilled at the results we have seen in just one year", adding "it has revolutionized the music industry".
"Clearly we are the number one music service in the world," he said, adding that the 70 million songs sold in the first year of the service has "exceeded our wildest expectations for its first year."
"We feel we have a lot of momentum" he said.
Online possibilities Jobs took time during the media-only event to explain where the songs will come from. Speaking of Apple's relationship with the labels, he explained: "There's a lot of challenges we all face together.
"If you look at the catalogues labels have, less than a third of what music they have in their catalogue is available for sale." He explaiend that the realities of the music business and its relationship with bricks-&-mortar music stores means that it's not possible for labels to make some music available as it would not break even.
Labels need to pay a selection of licensing charges, pressing and distribution costs, and marketing spend. Some of the larger retailers also demand more expense in order to stock product in retail locations.
"What is really, really exciting for us", Jobs explained, "is to get the labels to digitize this material and make it available for sale online. iTunes Music Store does not have these inventory costs," he said.
Best of breed Discussing the success of the service, Jobs explained: "Apple is the only company in the world to be able to offer the best media player, iTunes; the market-leading digital music device, iPod; and the world's leading online music store, iTunes Music Store."
He stressed his point: "Three best-of-breed devices working together – that's pretty good, and no one else in the world haas this."
Jobs looked back at the first year online music sales reached prime time: "We think the market's growing really fast."
Jobs had his own response to questions that pointed out that sales have not reached the 100 million figure Jobs predicted in January 2004.
"To go from zero to 70 million sales in a year. I mean, if we'd predicted that a year ago, people would have laughed."
Poking fun at the exclusive media audience, which included journalists from the Washington Post, Newsweek and more, he grinned: "You would have been the ones laughing."
"But we think going from zero to 70 million in six seconds isn't so bad", he said, confirming that the service made a "small profit" in the just-gone quarter.
"I think the growth rate in the first year has been phenomenal."
Apple now sells tracks at a rate equal to 140 million songs each year, the company said today.
Jobs also said that as of 4.15 (BST) Apple has already seen 1,000 iMixes uploaded to iTunes Music Store and received 5,000 votes.