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iTunes Sells 25% Of All US Music, 69% Of Downloads

SEATTLE (Hypebot) – A new NPD MusicWatch study shows that now iTunes leads the U.S. with 25% percent of total music sold including downloads and CDs That's up from 21% in '08 and 14% in '07. Wal-Mart (including Wal-Mart,, Wal-Mart Music Downloads) remains in second position with 14% and Best Buy ranked third.

iTunes continued to also solidify its lead in digital downloads sales grabbing 69% of market in the first half of 2009, followed by AmazonMP3 at 8%. Wal-Mart leads all sellers of CDs with a 20% percent share followed by Best Buy at 16% and Target and Amazon tied at 10% each.

CDs still comprised 65% of all music sold in the first half of 2009 with 35% going to digital. But CD numbers are falling rapidly. By comparison, in 2007 paid digital music downloads comprised just 20% of sales.

"Many people are surprised that the CD is still the dominant music delivery format, given the attention to digital music and the shrinking retail footprint for physical products,” said Russ Crupnick, vice president of entertainment industry analysis “But with digital music sales growing at 15 to 20 percent, and CDs falling by an equal proportion, digital music sales will nearly equal CD sales by the end of 2010.”

“The growth of legal digital music downloads, and Apple’s success in holding that market, has increased iTunes’s overall strength in the retail music category,” said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for The NPD Group. “But the importance of the big box retailers shouldn’t be dismissed, as long as the majority of music consumers continue to buy CDs.