Apple now reportedly adding 500,000 new iTunes accounts per day

iTunes 11 (Albums)

Aside from its iPhone sales, and total iOS device sales, another stat Apple likes to tout is its number of iTunes accounts. At the beginning  of the company’s WWDC keynote earlier this week, Tim Cook announced that there are now more than 575 million registered iTunes users.

Cook claims that iTunes is the largest online service with credit cards connected, which is pretty impressive. But perhaps even more impressive is its staggering growth rate. A new report from expert number-cruncher Horace Dediu claims Apple is adding 500k accounts per day…

Dediu, a veteran analyst for Asymco, looked at all of Apple’s previous iTunes account milestones that it’s announced since 2009 to calculate its current growth rate. And he believes that if Apple continues at its current pace, it will add another 100 million accounts by year’s end.

That’s crazy when you think about it. Half a million accounts per day. AppleInsider points to a recent report from a Morgan Stanley analyst who noted that that’s far better growth than any other service is seeing at the moment, including powerhouses like Facebook and Amazon.

In fact, Apple’s army of more than half of a billion registered users is second only to Facebook (who currently has 1 billion users). And not only does each iTunes account have a credit card attached to it, but each of them is generating more revenue per capita than retail giant Amazon.

And a force of this size provides Apple with other potential revenue streams outside of media purchases. Take iTunes Radio for example, its new music service. Even if it only hits half of Apple’s users this fall, that’s still 300 million. So in one fell swoop, it’ll be bigger than the market leader Pandora.

Now think mobile payments—something that pundits have long suggested Apple get into. There’s no clear market leader at the moment. So theoretically, all Apple would have to do is say “hey, we’re doing mobile payments now and we have 600 million users already. Who’s with us?” And it would be.

That’s some serious weight.