Apple CEO's Latest Playlist: "We Are the Champions," "Winner Takes it All," "Only One Winner"
Despite the best efforts of Wal-Mart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY), Amazon (AMZN), and Target (TGT), Apple’s iTunes Store has managed to maintain its iPod white-knuckled grip on the U.S. music market. According to a survey by market research company NPD, Apple dominated the retail music market in the first half of 2008, selling more music from January to June of this year than any of its rivals–including those selling both CDs and a-la-carte digital music downloads. NPD’s top five U.S. music retailers:
- Wal-Mart (Wal-Mart, Walmart.com, Walmart Music Downloads)
- Best Buy (Best Buy, Bestbuy.com, Best Buy Digital Music Store)
- Amazon (Amazon.com, AmazonMP3.com)
- Target (Target, Target.com)
NPD’s latest metrics, incidentally, also show Amazon MP3 rising to fourth place from fifth, and perhaps heading upward from there. “We expect Apple will consolidate its lead in the retail music market, as CD sales continue to slow,” said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for NPD. “Amazon’s CD buyers tend to be older, so they haven’t abandoned the CD format to the extent seen in the average music buyer. Plus, Amazon’s successful introduction of its digital download store will help the company improve its position in the future.”
And no doubt improve Apple’s (AAPL) position as well. After all, how much digital music purchased on Amazon ultimately ends up on iPods?