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SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. said it passed another online-music milestone Thursday in announcing that it has sold more than 5 billion songs through its iTunes Music Store.


The sales figures suggest that demand for digital music is showing no signs of slowing. Apple hit the mark of 5 billion songs sold four months after it reached sales of 4 billion songs. In April, data from retail research firm NPD Group said that the company had displaced Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as the No. 1 music retailer in the United States.


Apple opened up the iTunes store in April 2003. It sold its 1 billionth song in February 2006; it reached the 2 billion mark in January 2007, and by July 2007 Apple had sold more than 3 billion songs.


The music sales continue to grow even as sales of Apple’s iPod music players appear to be reaching a plateau. When the company reported its second-quarter results in April, iPod sales had risen just 1 percent from the prior year.


Additionally, Apple said that it is now selling and renting more than 50,000 movies a day through iTunes. It began offering movie rentals in January.


Apple shares rose $2.15 to close at $180.90.

Tagged as: apple | itunes
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