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iTunes Top US Music Retailer, Amazon Gains

PORT WASHINGTON, NY (Hypebot) – According to NPD, the five leading music retailers in the U.S. for the first half of 2008 based on combined purchases of CDs and a-la-carte downloads were:

1. iTunes
2. Wal-Mart (Walmart,
3. Best Buy (Best Buy,, Best Buy Digital)
4. Amazon (,
5. Target (Target and

NPD’s data reflects the shift from physical to digital, as iTunes maintained their leadership position reached earlier this year. Amazon rose from fifth place to fourth n the period because…online CD sales had less erosion than at brick-and-mortar and the launch of Amazon.mp3, last year.

“We expect Apple will consolidate its lead in the retail music market, as CD sales continue to slow,” said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for The NPD Group. “Amazon’s CD buyers tend to be older, so they haven’t abandoned the CD format to the extent seen in the average music buyer. Plus Amazon’s successful introduction of its digital download store will help the company improve its position in the future.”

The information was derived from surveys of U.S. consumers, age 13 and older, reporting on their purchases of physical product (CDs), digital music, and wireless over-the-air (OTA) transactions — excluding ringtones. Purchases from retailer Web sites and brick-and-mortar stores are combined in this ranking. NPD uses an equivalency of 12 single-track downloads per CD, for retailers who sell digital music as single tracks. In addition, NPD only tracks digital music sold by the song or album, not music purchased under subscription from services like eMusic, or subscription revenues from Rhapsody and Napster.