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iTunes Now Bigger Record Store Than Target, Amazon, Sam Goody

June 25, 2007 3:41 PM ET

It's a good week to be Steve Jobs: All the world is atwitter about Apple's iPhone, which hits stores Friday, and now comes news that the iTunes Music Store has become the country's third biggest music retailer. The digital-music superstore jumped over Target and Amazon.com and accounted for 9.8 percent of all music sales in the first quarter of 2007. Wal-Mart is the top dog, with 15.8 percent of the market, and Best Buy is next, with 13.8. (The NPD Group, a research firm that released the figures, counted 12 digital singles as an album to evenly compare digital stores to CD retailers.)

One more reason it's good to be Steve Jobs: The second-biggest digital-music retailer behind iTunes, eMusic -- which sells unprotected mp3s from indie-label artists for as little as 25 cents a track -- is trying to whip up some press by offering the Apple boss a subscription to the service. "We know Steve Jobs loves music," eMusic CEO David Pakman said in a press release announcing the offer. "All Steve has to do is call me up from his iPhone and I'll get him a free lifetime pass." Don't hold your breath, Dave.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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