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NPD: iTunes crushing competition in both Video on Demand and sales

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Tue April 23, 2013

Apple lead steady from 2011, gains claimed from minor players' stores

According to information analysis firm NPD Group, the Apple iTunes Store holds a commanding lead in video digital downloads, both for movies and television shows. In 2012, the research firm claims that 67 percent of television show purchases and 65 percent of movie sales were made on Apple's marketplace, up slightly from 2011.

Apple's closest competitor is Xbox Video, capturing 10 percent of the movie purchases, and 14 percent of the television shows sold. Amazon Instant Video comes in third with 10 percent of movies, and eight percent of TV shows. All other services capture 16 percent of movies, and 10 percent of television sales. Apple's gains have come mostly at the expense of the other services, with corresponding small gains realized by the Xbox Video store and Amazon Instant Video.

Apple holds a commanding lead in Internet Video on Demand, holding steady at 45 percent of online video rentals. Amazon Instant Video holds second with 18 percent. Vudu takes third with 15 percent of the movies rented. Xbox Video slightly trails Vudu with 14 percent. The numbers are essentially unchanged from 2011, with minor gains posted by Vudu and Xbox Video, with Amazon and Apple iTunes holding steady.

"Apple has successfully leveraged its first-mover advantage and of iTunes, iOS and the popularity of iPhone and iPad to dominate the digital sale and rental markets for movies and music," said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "While worthy competitors have come along, no other retailer has so thoroughly dominated its core entertainment product categories for so long."

by MacNN Staff



  1. Sebastien

    Registered User

    Joined: 04-29-00


    For less than the price of one iTunes rental, I get unlimited viewing of a vast selection of videos on Netflix.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Your claim is probably not true -- since Netflix last I checked costs $8 per month, which is more than any iTunes rental I'm aware of -- but you're missing the point. This NPD survey isn't about comparing streaming video services to sell-through and rental, it's about comparing the iTunes movie/tv business model to others using that same model. Netflix isn't using that model, they are in a different field.

    Netflix is great, I agree, but there's a HUGE amount that's not on there that I would be interested in, so for that I need options such as iTunes, Amazon and Vudu for example. Netflix is a great *complement* to these services, but doesn't replace them.

  1. Malcolm Owen

    Electronista Staff

    Joined: 07-18-12

    Cost of renting a vaguely high-profile and recent release on iTunes in the UK - £4.49 (this can vary depending on film, but it was the most frequent price listed for a HD rental on the iTunes Film section's front page)
    Cost of Netflix streaming in the UK - £5.99 per month.
    Cost of LoveFilm Instant (aka Amazon Instant Video) in the UK - £4.99 per month.

    While I can't speak for other regions, in the UK at least it is cheaper to rent on iTunes. Provided you only rent one film per month. Watching more would make the streaming services a more attractive option...

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