Apps might be where it’s at for Apple in 2013, but music remains a core feature of its iTunes Store. To emphasise the point, Apple announced a big milestone today: 25bn songs sold from iTunes.

The 25 billionth track was a remix of Chase Buch’s ‘Monkey Drums’, purchased in Germany. SVP of internet software and services Eddy Cue dished another stat in his official statement:

“We are grateful to our users whose passion for music over the past 10 years has made iTunes the number one music retailer in the world. Averaging over 15,000 songs downloaded per minute, the iTunes Store connects music fans with their favourite artists, including global sensations like Adele and Coldplay and new artists like The Lumineers, on a scale we never imagined possible.”

The store currently has a catalogue of more than 26m songs, and is available in 119 countries following more expansion in 2012.

iTunes is facing more competition than ever in 2013 though – partly from rival download stores from Amazon and Google, but also from streaming music services like Spotify and personal-radio services like Pandora.

Apple has been widely tipped to launch its own rival for the latter, although music publishers are reportedly digging their heels in on negotiations, delaying its launch. Still, with today’s 25bn downloads announcement, Apple is clearly keen to remind the music industry – and the wider technology world – of the sheer scale of its existing a la carte business.

The company said in its recent financial results for the final quarter of 2012 that the iTunes Store had generated $2.1bn of revenues that quarter, although that includes apps, video and e-books as well as music.

We’d point you in the direction of industry analyst Asymco for a deeper dive into all this. In a recent blog post, it noted that Apps are now a third of all iTunes revenues – around $4bn a year – with non-app media (including music) accounting for the other two thirds, but growing at a slower rate.