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iTunes maintains stranglehold on US music sales

updated 10:30 am EDT, Tue August 5, 2008

iTunes controls US music

Apple's iTunes Store continues to control the US music market, a new batch of surveys suggests. Following several polls of Americans 13 and older, conducted between January and June of this year, the NPD Group says that iTunes maintained an existing lead, despite competition from major, firmly established corporations. The results are are also notable in that they reflect all forms of music sales, including not just iTunes' digital specialty but online and retail CD sales. Excluded are non-permanent options like the subscription services offered by Rhapsody and Napster.

Apple's chief competition is Wal-Mart, which has traditionally sold a high volume of CDs through its big-box retail chain, and has branched into both physical and digital online sales. The same is true of third-place contender Best Buy, but online-only vendor Amazon has risen from fifth place to fourth, based largely on its popular MP3 store. NPD also notes that while online CD sales are in decline, demand remains greater than for retail purchases.

Slipping into fifth is Target, which offers only physical sales through retail or its website.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ezylstra

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The iTunes Store is throttling music sales? Isn't this an improper use of the metaphor? "Maintaining a Strong Hold" would be correct.

  1. brainiac_7

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iTunes Plus

    Apple did the work, sorted out the mess; it's sort of comforting to note they're successful; instead of some poser co. eating Apple's lunch. For me if it ain't in iTunes Plus format, I go to Amazon.

  1. limey1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Details missing

    Why no link to the report, or am I missing something? (It can be found as a press release on NPD's web-site.)

    Having read the press release however, there are no actual statistics, which I find disappointing. The only possible link to "stranglehold" is "iTunes maintained their leadership position" and "We expect Apple will consolidate its lead in the retail music market, as CD sales continue to slow."

    This article does not live up to MacNN's usual high standards (or maybe I'm raising the bar too much?)

    Also, which may have been commented on before but...
    Contextual pop-ups (or whatever they are called) for "iTunes" links to "Microsoft Sync," and for "Apple" links to "Microsoft Live Search." Some may find this somewhat ironic.

  1. sicembears

    Joined: Dec 1969



    If you don't like this website or the content it provides take your traffic elsewhere!

  1. limey1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: bitching

    Hey! I love this site. I'm just surprised that a press release in which the only solid data is that Amazon has overtaken Target is characterized as Apple maintains a "stranglehold" of US music sales. My experience here says that MacNN can do a lot better in their editorial department.

    And with regards to my other comment I was laughing my arse off while writing that. The irony was obviously lost on you!

  1. chrisco

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Stranglehold is what Apple is doing to the quality of iPhone apps with its unnecessary continuation of the iPhone SDK NDA. I think "domination" is more in line with the term you're looking for.

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