When IGM reported in February that iTunes had become the No 2 music retailer, it was projected that Apple's music store would overtake Wal-Mart some time this year. Incredibly, iTunes has already surpassed the big-box retailer in January.
Quoting NPD data leaked by Apple, Ars Technica reports that the iTunes Store, likely fueled by holiday gift cards, was the top retail music destination:
01 Apple, 19%
02 Wal-Mart, 15%
03 Best Buy, 13%
04 Amazon, 6%
"The news was announced in an e-mail sent this afternoon to some Apple employees ... It includes a screenshot of an Excel file showing the top ten music retailers in the US for January 2008, and Apple is at the top of the list."
Overall, paid downloads accounted for almost 30 percent of all music sold in January, according to NPD. Further, the researcher says that 48 percent of US teens didn't buy a single CD in 2007, compared to 38 percent in 2006.
Editors' note: What a satisfying news story. Wal-Mart reduced to No 2 and the music labels even more beholden to Apple!
Pity Apple only held the title for the month of January. Still it's just a matter of time until iTunes dominates retail music...
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