Startling: Apple’s iTunes online store has become the 3rd largest music retailer in the U.S. in Q1 2007.
According to a survey by NPD Market Research, based on unit sales, not revenue. 12 songs tracks purchased online were counted as the equivalent to an album in compact disc format.
Apple leapfrogged both Amazon.com and Target in units sold, and achieved a 9.8% market share.
The leader remains Wal-Mart, witha 15.8% market share. Best Buy is #2, with a 13.8% share — despite expanding their DVD section at the expense of the CD area.
Amazon.com’s share was 6.7%, with Target a smidge behind at 6.6%.
NPD’s survey doesn’t include mobile-music sales, nor does it factor in revenue.
iTunes No. 3 music retailer in U.S.
BusinessWeek, June 22, 2007, 5:53PM EST
I standarized on iTunes 3 years ago and haven’t bought a CD since.
This Christmas will be the last hurrah for CDs. Game over.
Now we just need the record companies to fully embrace the iTunes platform and allow us to buy music from the overseas iTunes sites and expand the back catalog. We also need more concert DVDs and movies on iTunes.
I use iTunes, ironically, to preview music I’m thinking about buying on Amazon. I can’t preview music directly on Amazon.com, because I’d have to install Windows Media Player or Real Player, and these are both known to be rather poor pieces of software.
two reasons I’ll never give up cds (or lps, for that matter):
1) sound quality. most mp3s sound like crap. most people can’t hear it. so it goes. I guess on an iPod, it doesn’t matter, since the reproducing technology is basically lo-fi.
2) info and graphics. I actually like having liner notes, credits, and design with my music. it rounds out my ‘picture’ of a band/performer. also, recognizing a producer’s or musician’s or other name has led me to some great music I would never have heard of otherwise.
I’m not trying to be a snob or anything, but the degradation and commodification of music in the mp3 era has really been heartbreaking. not that most people ever had decent playback systems in the past, either, but this is a new lowering of the standard that probably won’t ever be reversed, since not many people care.
times and priorities change. c’est la vie.
btw, all you rock fans out there, check out a canadian band called The Two Koreas. you’ll probably have to get their ‘altruists’ cd from a canadian website and wait while it crawls through customs, but it’s worth it, IMHO.
and of course, it’s not available on iTunes and I doubt it ever will be.
“two reasons I’ll never give up cds (or lps, for that matter):
1) sound quality. most mp3s sound like crap. ”
I agree that CD’s sound better. I use my iPod almost entirely for listening to podcasts, but if I want ONE TRACK of an album, I might download the iTunes version.
BTW: I gave up on LP’s. They sounded OK the first time you played them, but the “snap, crackle, pop” was annoying.
For those mp3 haters out there, blam Itunes’ shitty bitrates and not the format itself! Sheesh!
KP has a point. you can create mp3s that sound good, but the files are too big for iPodding. iTunes’ shitty bitrates, though, are the standard most people are accepting, and that’s what I was referring to.
as for vinyl…pops? frying eggs? on some really beat-up lps, definitely. but a decent needle and cartridge plus a little care of the records avoids those drawbacks to a surprisingly large degree. my system is hardly audiophile, but the natural quality of the sound–without digital processing–really brings the music more to life, at least for me. (I’m actually amazed at how quiet playback is sometimes. but the key word there is ‘sometimes’. ;-) )
I had a good friend years ago who taught me how to listen. thanks to his very informal guidance, I started to hear things in music and in recordings–especially production–that I had never noticed before. the hi-fi guys call this ‘educating the ear’, I think. it’s like anything else. if you think big macs are great, you think they’re great. then somebody sneaks you something like duck mousse on really great french bread and your taste buds start to go, ‘ohhh, I get it’. I just think iTunes, today’s standard, is kind of like big macs.
a retailer called other music started selling music online not long ago after only selling cds and lps in their stores for years. but they wouldn’t do it until they could deliver cd-quality downloads. but that kind of dedication is really rare these days.
i buy cds for one reason. automatic backup. friend of mine lost over $1,000 worth of itunes music when his Mac drive went kaput! screw that.
The Country Music industry in Nashville music buyers are still into CDs. Problem is for every $100 in physical CDs they make only $20 off digital downloads. Problem is there still is enough money coming in with digital and physical sales that they aren’t panicking. Course the executes are rather nervous about the iPhone. Right now they are making $2.99 a piece off ringtones and when the iPhone comes out Apple is demanding to sell them at $.99 a pop. Personally I like CDs but primarily for backup.
As much as I like Apple produces working with them is another story. We did a promo for a festival and they were arrogant as hell.
So, iTunes has ~10% market share? Good for them, but doesn’t it follow that CD’s and vinyl still have ~90% share? I see no reason to dig physical media’s grave just yet.