Apple: 50M Songs Sold Online

Apple Computer logo, against backdrop of musical notes, for story about music download service
Apple Computer Inc. said Monday it has sold more than 50 million songs through its online iTunes Music Store.

Apple's latest tally falls short of its one-year anniversary target of 100 million songs by April 28, but company officials said they weren't discouraged.

"Setting that goal was a way to put the stake in the ground and say that we were going to be the leader," said Rob Schoeben, Apple's vice president of applications marketing.

A dozen other online music services have since followed Apple's 99-cents-per-download debut with similar a la carte song services.

Apple maintains a clear lead over its closest rival, Napster, which announced its 5 million-song milestone in February. Another competitor, Musicmatch, has not disclosed its song sales but analysts estimate it follows closely behind Napster.