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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

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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