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iTunes Share of U.S. Music Sales Reaches 25%

Market research firm NPD today reports that Apple's iTunes was the number one music retailer in the U.S. for the first half of 2009 with 25% of unit sales. Apple's share of the total market is up from 21% in 2008 and 14% in 2007.

According to NPD MusicWatch, when it comes to the unit-sales volume of music sold at retail - including paid digital music downloads and CDs - Apple iTunes leads in the U.S. with 25 percent of music units sold, which is up from 21 percent in 2008 and 14 percent in 2007. Walmart (including Walmart, Walmart.com, Walmart Music Downloads) remains in second position with 14 percent of music volume sold at their stores and Web sites with Best Buy ranked third.

The move comes as the music industry continues to see a shift from CDs to digital downloads, with digital downloads now accounting for 35% of total sales, up from 30% in 2008 and 20% in 2007. As the trend continues, NPD sees digital download sales equalling CD sales by the end of 2010.

Within the digital download segment, iTunes easily claimed the top spot with 69% of the segment for the first half of 2009, followed by Amazon at 8%. iTunes has led the digital download segment essentially since its inception in 2003.

Apple announced to its employees in April 2008 that it had recently become the #1 overall music retailer in the U.S., and Apple's lead over #2 Walmart has continued to increase since that time.