Why There's No Stopping iTunes

Quite often when I buy a product on Amazon, the retail giant offers me the opportunity to download some free tracks from its MP3 store at no charge. And yet, I can't remember a single time when I've taken advantage of the offer. I like free music like the rest of us, but to me, there's only one multimedia store worth using: iTunes.

Now, I know that those who can't stand Apple will hate to hear me say that. They'll say that I'm an Apple apologist or someone that doesn't want to admit that there are other services out there that might actually be better than those from Apple. But I would challenge any one of those individuals to find a single all-in-one solution like iTunes that's better than that platform.

The numbers seem to back me up. Apple on Tuesday announced that its iTunes Store posted record-breaking results, generating nearly $1.9 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2012. That figure was up a whopping 35 percent year-over-year, and was due to the increasing popularity of its music, video, and apps offering. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, iTunes now has over 28 million songs available and 45,000 movies. Its App Store has hit 600,00 available apps.

Given all that data, and the sheer popularity of the iTunes Store over all of these years, what makes anyone think that it can be replaced by something else? Apple's store might not be perfect, but at this point, it's unbeatable.

[aquote]If you're a developer, wouldn't the App Store be your first destination?[/aquote]

Think of it this way: if you had to find a song as quickly as possible, would you choose any other store over iTunes to buy it? And if you're a developer, wouldn't the App Store be your first destination?

Apple's iTunes Store has become the central hub for a key part of our lives. The service has grown up from its music-only roots and turned into a juggernaut that houses the latest and greatest content, as well as all of the other stuff that, in far too many cases, can't be found on other services.

Of course, all of this doesn't mean that competing options like Amazon's MP3 Store or the Android Market aren't worth your time. Both of those services work as advertised and deliver an appealing experience to customers. But they can't quite muster the end-to-end, all-in-one experience Apple's iTunes Store can. And for the most prominent artists, developers, and film studios in the world, there isn't another offering that's as important as iTunes.

Best of all for Apple, it has the trump cards that no other competitors have: the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. As more people buy those products, the more likely they'll be to use iTunes. Meanwhile, other services will be forced to hope that they can pick up the scraps.

I know some might not like to hear it, but at this point, and for the foreseeable future, there's simply no stopping iTunes.