Winning the iTunes 100 million song contest | iLounge News


Winning the iTunes 100 million song contest

pic Want to enhance your chances of winning something in Apple’s countup to 100 million songs sold through the iTunes Music Store? Thanks to Jon Maddox, now you can buy your songs near a 100,000 marker, based on Apple’s most recently published number of iTMS songs sold. PC users can use a cool web script that displays the current tally, and Mac users can download an even cooler desktop widget for use with the increasingly popular application Konfabulator. (Jon, if you’re reading this, great work, and shoot us a line if you have a moment!)

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Does this thing update itself in real time? It opens with one number and stays that way. Meanwhile, I can refresh Apple’s page and get the latest numbers. Am I missing something?

Posted by Larry Frank on July 3, 2004 at 3:36 AM (PDT)


Oops, the live updating kicked in just fine. But if you are as obsessive as me about winning an iPod, it’s probably better to have an itchy refresh finger.

Posted by Larry Frank on July 3, 2004 at 3:50 AM (PDT)


it show more on the apple site than on the counter it dosent work that well

Posted by BIGP in Texas on July 3, 2004 at 10:25 AM (PDT)


well the chances of winning are freaking small ... even tho id like an ipod 20gb in addition to my mini..the chances to win are so small theres no point. 20k more songs sold every30 min? good game

Posted by THeGfather on July 3, 2004 at 11:52 AM (PDT)


OK this is really stupid apple has the same thing on their site. And the chances of winning are about 1/40 assuming that 2,000 song are sold every 5mins. and thats 400 a min. and you are sending/buying 10 songs a min.

Posted by Chris on July 3, 2004 at 11:13 PM (PDT)


Technically, the promotion ends with the 100,000,000th ENTRY, not necessarily the 100,000,000th song sold. Has anyone checked if the counter at Apple is counting entries or songs? And if it’s only counting songs, then isn’t counter camping sort of pointless, since there would therefore be no telling when the next 100,000 multiple of entries was coming up?

Posted by Dan Daranciang on July 3, 2004 at 11:44 PM (PDT)


Can anyone tell me how the no purchase necessary rule comes into play then? You don’t have to buy a tune to enter every ‘tell a friend’ submission to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) counts as an entry. It would appear that the competition is a prize draw rather than done on the purchase figures.

As it’s illegal to operate this kind of competition in the UK since its constitutes a lottery and a licence is needed.

comments? or am i very much mistaken…

Posted by Mark Owen on July 4, 2004 at 10:04 AM (PDT)


For any competition run in the UK that requires you to purchase something to enter, e.g. tokens out of a newspaper to win a house, you have to be able to obtain said tokens with out purchasing the newspaper, i.e. no purchase nessesery in the rules. The emails must be counted as ‘purchases’ and logged by the time they are received, the same as buying a song, so if you send them an email and its the 100,000th they receive you win…

Posted by Paul on July 5, 2004 at 5:44 AM (PDT)


Nobody knows the delay before Apple’s posted updates, so good luck smile But it’s amazing how many iTunes trackers—even live GRAPHS there are now. Even more amazing… how many of them came out within hours of the contest. See all the links at the bottom of this graph page:

Also re non-purchase entries, I think this is how it works: they don’t count toward the song total, but they can still win. How? When a winner’s about to be chosen (they’re at ...999 downloads), then the next entry wins—no matter whether it’s a purchase that DOES increment the counter, or an email that does not.

Posted by Nagromme on July 5, 2004 at 6:28 AM (PDT)


Bleh to win you have to agree to let them use your photo, do an interview and be prepared to be in an ad campaign.  While that may sound like fun to some….I"ll think I’ll just buy an iPod…lol

Posted by =^Genesis^= on July 5, 2004 at 6:44 AM (PDT)


Should’ve mentioned MAC only in the post.

Posted by Patterson on July 5, 2004 at 7:26 AM (PDT)


The counter seems to update every 5 minutes, on the 0 and the 5.

>Also re non-purchase entries, I think this is how it works: they don’t count toward the song total, but they can still win. How? When a winner’s about to be chosen (they’re at ...999 downloads), then the next entry wins—no matter whether it’s a purchase that DOES increment the counter, or an email that does not.

...which proves the point that reading the counter won’t help you win (unless you care to estimate how many FREE entries have been made).

The person who buys the 100,000,000th song won’t even win the grand prize!

Posted by Dan Daranciang on July 5, 2004 at 8:37 AM (PDT)


From the rules:

“In the event that more than one entrant would be a winner based on the simultaneous timing of entries, one entrant will be randomly selected from those entrants as the winner. Each entrantís chances of winning are dependent upon the number of Entries received and the timing of Entries. “

I guess this means that you do literally have to purchase the 100,000th song.

Posted by fakecanadia on July 5, 2004 at 10:13 AM (PDT)


What happened to just purchasing music cause you want to - not cause you have to!  Shouldn’t winning be a nice surprise bonus?

Posted by Trunk Guy in London on July 5, 2004 at 11:58 AM (PDT)


Trunk Guy: That’s not how marketing and “promotions” work wink
Its called a promotion because they are trying to promote the music store, and get more $ale$

Dan Daranciang: I think you’re a little confused. Read what Nagromme said again. I think that that’s the explanation that makes the most sense.

Posted by RexStJames on July 5, 2004 at 7:24 PM (PDT)


I’d love to hear some more esoteric stats -what was the most downloaded song during the giveaway?  The most downloaded Album?  What was the highest number of songs purchased by any one user?  What was the highest number of songs downloaded in any five minute period by one user?

Posted by DomArchitect on July 6, 2004 at 3:56 AM (PDT)


RexStJames: Thanks for the level-headed reply. I’m going a little crazy over here.

What I’m proposing is that a second counter was started immediately following the purchase of the 95,000,000th song, which counts both songs sold and Tell a Friend e-mail entries (hereafter referred to collectively as “Entries” by myself and the Official Rules). Since songs & e-mail entries both would increment this counter, which is separate from the songs sold counter on’s front page (and on the iTunes product pages), the person who buys the 100,000,000th song would probably not be the 100,000,000th entrant. Hence my claim that the person who buys the 100,000,000th song will not win the promotion.

I reread Nagromme’s post, and what s/he is saying is that e-mail entries do not increment the song counter (which I’m not arguing against). The effect of an e-mail entry is to give that person a chance at the prize (i.e., should an e-mail entry immediately follow the purchase of the 99,999th song, that e-mail entry will win. If at any other time an e-mail entry is made, it is discarded and no longer a factor in anything).

So are e-mail entries cumulative—that is, are e-mail entries being added to any counter somewhere? The Official Rules aren’t clear, but here’s a relevant section (pulled from

“One 20GB iPod will be awarded for each Entry sent immediately following the 99,999th song downloaded, until iTunes reaches its 100 millionth Entry. (One 20GB iPod will be given away for the 95,100,000th Entry, 95,200,000th Entry,....99,900,000th Entry).”

I infer from that that Tell a Friend entries ARE being added up to a second counter, and thus that a significant number of e-mail entries would cause the grand prize to be awarded before the sale of the 100,000,000th song.


However, now that I read it again, the first sentence supports Nagromme’s interpretation, but the second sentence supports the admittedly lengthy, annoying, and not keeping-with-the-spirit-of-the-promotion explanation that I’ve tried to forward here. Perhaps the second sentence is only meant to clarify the language of the first?

Man, I’m glad I’m not a lawyer who has to interpret these things on a daily basis, although I must admit that there’s an interesting game of logic to be drawn from it.

All the best to you, Jeremy!

Posted by Dan D. on July 6, 2004 at 6:26 AM (PDT)


I would like to see the winners and read their stories on how they won this contest. Adding up all the numbers may be managed by a program, but still that is a lot of bandwidth managed by Apple(the contest and iTunes operation). I wonder if there will be retarded lawsuits that follow this contest. I am sure it is covered in the agreement, but there are always sore losers that are willing to waste more time and money.

Posted by SolidGun on July 6, 2004 at 11:48 AM (PDT)

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