Apple Maintains Digital Music Dominance, But Amazon Making Significant Gains

ItunesNPD has released its most recent report examining digital music downloads in the United States.

The research firm reports that Apple continues to hold a 63% share of the market down from 66% in 2010, with Amazon at 22%, up from 13% 3 years ago. Some 44 million Americans bought at least one song last year, with NPD saying that number has remained stable over the past three years.

“Since the launch of Apple’s iTunes store, digital music downloads have become the dominant revenue source for the recorded music industry and iTunes continues to be the dominant retailer,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “There’s a belief that consumers don’t need to buy music because of streaming options, when in fact streamers are much more likely than the average consumer to buy music downloads.”

However, only 38 percent of consumers said it was important to own music, while 41 percent of users of streaming music services like Pandora or Spotify said they had purchased music they discovered on such a service.

The relatively low number of consumers who find it important to own music may be part of the impetus to Apple's development of an 'iRadio' streaming music service. Apple is rumored to be pushing hard for a Summer 2013 launch.

Top Rated Comments

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98 months ago

Amazon has alot of $5 sales and they use plain old MP3 which works on any player and not just iPod.

Wow, I thought this particular misinformation died around 2006 or so. There are still people pushing it?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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98 months ago

Since I have Spotify, I rarely buy music. But when I do, I tend to get it from Amazon for two reasons:
#1 - Prices are usually better
#2 - It's convenient to use their web Cloud Player to listen to the music at my job

Amazon has made it simple enough with their downloader to import the music into iTunes.


Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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98 months ago
I'm one of those people that made the switch. Amazon has alot of $5 sales and they use plain old MP3 which works on any player and not just iPod.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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98 months ago

It still ends up in iTunes so there is little difference in the end (except that it usually is less expensive).


One difference: It's mighty convenient to have stuff be part of your iTunes purchase history.

I love picking up an Apple device and being able to re-download something I bought on another without paying for iTunes match.

I'm not saying that's worth it to everyone, but that's one thing that keeps me coming back to the iTunes store.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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98 months ago
iTunes is a de facto choice in a lot of countries because services like Amazon mp3 simply don't exist in, say, Canada.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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98 months ago

Not the old "AAC only works on iPods" argument again...

Products_that_support_AAC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Audio_Coding#Products_that_support_AAC).


Or in other words - just about any device from a know company.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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