An NPD Group survey of more than 40,000 people aged 13 and up shows Apple's popular audio and video download platform, iTunes, has clawed its way past competitors Amazon.com and Target to become the 3rd largest music retailer in the U.S. According to the survey, which doesn't include mobile downloads or revenue, iTunes' market share came in at 9.8%, behind Wal-Mart (15.8%) and Best Buy (13.8%), and ahead of Amazon.com (6.7%) and Target (6.6%). Because it is possible to purchase individual music tracks at iTunes, NPD recorded every 12 tracks sold as equivalent to one album for statistical purposes. Counting both digital and hard copy sales, 212 million albums have been purchased so far this year - less than a quarter of them digitaly, according to Nielsen SoundScan. This number marks a 16% decline in overall album sales, compared to a year ago.
Sources: Reuters, AP, Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Amazon.com's DRM-Free Music Store May Reshape Market • Free Video Downloads Will Overtake iTunes Soon -- Study • The Long and Short on Amazon, Netflix, Google, Microsoft And Apple
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). Competitors: Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Target (NYSE:TGT). ETFs: Internet Architecture HOLDRS (NYSE:IAH), Internet HOLDRS (NYSE:HHH), Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLY), Vanguard Consumer Discretionary VIPERs (NYSEARCA:VCR)
Conference call transcripts: Apple F2Q07 (Qtr End 3/31/07) Earnings Call Transcript
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