NEW YORK – Apple Computer (AAPL) on Monday said its iTunes online service has sold a million videos in under 20 days, sending shares up almost 5 percent.
iTunes, the most popular online music store, began selling about 2,000 music videos and episodes of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" for $1.99 on October 12.
The debut coincided with the launch of a new generation of Apple's iPod (search) digital music player that can play video on its 2.5-inch color screen.
Technology, media and Wall Street analysts are eyeing Apple's performance for validation that a market for legal downloading of videos exists.
"Selling one million videos in less than 20 days strongly suggests there is a market for legal downloads," Steve Jobs (search), Apple CEO, said in a statement. "Our next challenge is to broaden our content offerings."
Sources have said Apple is in discussions to lure more U.S. television networks to provide programming.
Apple shares gained $2.63, or 4.8 percent, to $57.10; Shares of RealNetworks (RNWK), which operates a rival online music service, gained 37 cents, or 4.9 percent to $7.87 on the Nasdaq in afternoon trade.