Apple, already a top computer maker, top portable music player maker, top software developer, now is one of the Top 10 Music Retailers in the US. Who’s Number One?
The iTunes Music Store remains the Number One music retailer as an online store. Estimates put iTMS at approximately 80-percent market share in the US, and 60-percent or higher in most of the other nearly two dozen countries where iTMS reigns.
In the US, published reports show Apple has moved from 14th place to the Top 10; 7th place among the largest US music sellers.
iTMS was launched in April 2003, and according to Apple sources, the company has sold nearly 700-million songs and has more than 10-million iTMS account holders.
Driving sales of CDs and single tracks on iTMS is the iPod. First introduced in 2001, the iPod now commands nearly 80-percent market share in the US alone, and is the top portable player in most countries.
Sources report that Apple has sold over 30-million iPods and expect the company to sell nearly 10-million more iPods in the 4th calendar quarter; the busy holiday shopping season.
Other reports indicate that Apple’s new iPod with video is a hotter-than-expected seller and competitive in numbers with the already hot seller, the iPod nano.
If Apple’s stellar sales performance of music online is such news, who are the other retailers?
Wal-Mart Stores remains the top seller of CDs in the US, according to a published report. Estimates give Wal-Mart approximately 25-percent of all US music sales.
Rounding out the Top 5 are Best Buy at #2, Target Stores at #3, online retailer Amazon at #4, and retailer TransWorld Entertainment’s FYE at #5.
Circuit City Stores are ahead of Apple at #6. iTunes Music Store is also ahead of retailing giant, Tower Records.
Rounding out the bottom of the Top 10 are Tower Records which as #7 last year, Sam Goody which was #5 a year ago, and Borders Book Stores which fell from #9 to 10.
What does the future hold for iTMS and the iPod? For now, all analysts are pointing to continued solid growth into the foreseeable future.
The iPod faces little competition among portable music players. iTMS remains the most user-friendly online store with a unique seamless ‘ecosystem’ for putting music onto the iPod.
Carol Mary Miller
How long will it be before Apple’s iTMS challenges Amazon as the top online retailer of music? Target, Best Buy, and particularly Wal-Mart move more CDs than almost all other retailers combined.
Jack D. Miller
If I’m not mistaken, haven’t online sales of iTMS hit a wall of about 2-million downloads a day? Of course, that translates quite well into a nearly $800-million dollar annual business, but that’s a far distance from Wal-Mart’s sales of CDs.
I used to buy CDs from Wal-Mart all the time because the price per CD was cheaper. The only problem with CDs is that you may only want four songs but still have to pay $10 to $20 for the whole CD. With iTMS, I can spend $4.00 and get just the songs I want and none of the crummy ones.
Tera Jean Patricks
This is a positive trend that won’t change soon. Momentum is on Apple’s side and there are few challengers. If the musical ‘Apple Cart’ is to be upset, it’s likely to be upset by the greedy, selfish record companies who demand higher online prices, despite lower costs and higher profits.
It’s also likely that some recording artists decide to cut separate deals with iTMS which makes Apple begin to act like a music distributor. That may change the landscape, too.
Added to the mix and not reflected in anyone’s numbers is the iPod with video. All reports indicate it’s a hot seller and people are downloading music videos and TV shows in huge numbers—at $1.99 each. That trend is likely to continue and accelerate as Apple ads more content.
Apple, you are planning to add more video content, right?