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iTunes store counts 1 million video downloads

Apple Computer's video-downloading service hits the million mark less than a month after its launch.

Apple Computer said on Monday that it has sold more than 1 million videos in the 19 days since it launched its video iPod and started selling TV shows, short films and a wider assortment of music videos.

In a statement, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the results show that there is both a market for such content as well as a need for broader availability of videos online. Apple currently has about 2,000 music videos, a small collection of Pixar Animation Studios shorts and episodes of five ABC television shows.

"Selling 1 million videos in less than 20 days strongly suggests that there is a market for legal video downloads," Jobs said. "Our next challenge is to broaden our content offerings so that customers can enjoy watching more videos on their computers and new iPods."

Apple has moved cautiously into the video market, careful to pitch the video-playing ability as a secondary feature of the new iPod. For years, Jobs has openly questioned whether people really want to watch video on such a small screen.

While an impressive milestone, Apple has seen quicker pickup with music sales. When it opened its iTunes Music Store in Japan earlier this year, for example, it sold 1 million tracks in the first four days.

Of course, Apple has also been able to start its music stores with much wider variety of content. It has had a harder time convincing video content creators to work with the new service.

The Mac maker said its most popular music video downloads include ones from Michael Jackson, Fatboy Slim and Kanye West.

Apple introduced the video iPod and started selling the TV shows and other videos on Oct. 12. at a splashy press event in San Jose, Calif. The company had been quietly selling a few music videos since earlier this year, a move some saw as a hint of its video ambitions.