updated 12:40 pm EDT, Fri June 22, 2007
iTunes Third Largest Store
The iTunes Store is now the third largest distributor of music in the US regardless of format, according to a new study from the NPD Group. The direct-download music shop is said to have eclipsed Amazon in the first quarter of the year to reach 10 percent of all music sales in the country, dropping Amazon to 6.7 percent. Large-format retailers Wal-Mart and Best Buy have also had their leads cut with 15.8 and 13.8 percent of the market respectively. Researchers credited the improvement primarily to Apple selling 21 million iPods during the holidays, which encouraged more visitors to the online store.
Amazon was cited as a target for Apple during a company special event in September 2006 promoting the company's iTunes movies and new iPods, when the direct-order store had occupied the number three spot. Amazon has recently announced its own downloadable music store with DRM-free tracks but has yet to formally launch the service, so far relying only on its Windows Media-based Unbox video store for selling media beyond physical albums and DVDs.