NPD: Apple, Amazon Gain Q1 Music Share

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Port Washington, N.Y. - Apple extended its lead in music sales in the first quarter, while Amazon gained share to tie Walmart for second place, an NPD Group consumer survey shows.

Apple's iTunes store accounted for 28 percent of all unit music sales to consumers, up 4 percentage points from the year-ago period, while Amazon gained 3 percentage points to tie Walmart for second place with a 12 percent share.

 In calculating retailers' market share, NPD measured sales of physical albums, digitally downloaded albums and downloads of individual songs, with 12 downloaded songs considered the equivalent of one album for comparison. Downloads include over-the-air cellular downloads but not ringtone downloads. Surveyed consumers were 13 and older.

 NPD also found that digital downloads extended their share of total music sales. Sales of digital tracks and albums accounted for 40 percent of overall music market share in the first quarter, up 5 percentage points from the year-ago period.

 Amazon gained share in CD and digital formats, NPD said. "This dual-pronged approach of selling both digital music and CDs helps attract the most valuable and committed music buyer who prefers access to both formats," said Russ Crupnick, NP industry analysis VP.

In sales of physical albums, Amazon's share grew by 2 percentage points to 11 percent, putting the retailer into third place. Walmart was on top with 17 percent of CD sales, followed by Best Buy with 14 percent.

In downloaded music, NPD's MusicWatch survey found that iTunes's share "remained essentially flat" compared with the year-ago period, growing only 1 percentage point to 70 percent. The AmazonMP3 store, however, grew 4 percentage points to 12 percent.

Although iTunes' digital share grew only 1 percentage point, its share of total music sales (physical and digital combined) grew by 4 percentage points to 28 percent of all music sales because of declining CD sales.


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