Study: Apple’s iTunes Music Store places second to ‘best music store’ Fnac

“Online music stores like Apple’s iTunes have been a boon to fans and the beleaguered music industry, but many of them still have a long way to go, according to new research released on Tuesday. A study from market research firm Shelley Taylor & Associates blasts music stores for confusing navigation and locking users into proprietary formats and music players,” Reuters reports.

“As a result, users’ initial enthusiasm is being deflated as they realize they have been conned — there are more limitations imposed on legitimate digital downloads, media players and portable devices than advertised,” Taylor said.

Apple’s iTunes Music Store placed second to the top ranked France’s Fnac in Taylor’s study of 15 of the best music stores.

“‘(Apple and iTunes) need to watch their back and continue to develop, especially since they’ve never been good at the e-commerce and shopping,’ Taylor said. She cited several key Fnac features that are lacking in iTunes, including discounts for buying multiple tracks and the ability to download music videos and purchase concert tickets,” Reuters reports.

The study gave British retailer HMV the lowest marks among online music stores for being difficult to access, providing scant artist information, and confusing navigation and Sony’s Sonic Stage was the worst music software among those studied because it forces users into using a proprietary music format, has poor playlist functions, and commits user interface sins that make it difficult to use, according the the Reuters report.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: And in related news, while you’ve been reading this, Apple’s iTunes Music Store has just sold more songs than Fnac has in its entire operating history.


  1. Hobbes, this is nothing like Dell selling the most PCs. Due to the nature of this market, users have real choice here. In PCs, most individual consumers feel compelled to choose Windows due to its lock on the work environment & software compatibility. No such issues here.

  2. There can definitely be some improvement to iTunes. For example, in the past I’ve bought a couple of tracks from an album to see if I liked it. After deciding yes, I went back to purchase the whole album and was given a message similar to “you have already purchased songs from this album, do you want to purchase them again”. Since buying the entire album was still cheaper than buying the rest individually I had no choice. Since iTunes obviously already knew I had purchased those songs, I believe that it should subtract their cost off the album purchase. It would seem to me that having it set up as it is discourages people from trying new music that they may purchase more of later.

  3. Don’t worry…. soon the French will retreat from this position and adopt another.

    As a Canadian and a member of the Commonwealth, I still can’t forget how the French thanked the British for saving their country twice in the last century…

    In 1982, a mere 36 years after all those British, Canadian and American boys died on French soil, French technicians loaded French Exocet missles onto French-supplied Argentinian aircraft heading out to kill Briish sailors and soldiers (which they did).

    Thanks, France!

    Magic word = both. As in “The French adopted BOTH positions.”

  4. FNAC is run by Denis Olivennes, who until 2002 was Director General of Canal +, the French television and media company.

    Shelley Taylor & Associates list Canal + amongst their clients, and funnily enough, Microsoft too. is built on Windows Media Technology.

    Do I need to go on?

  5. A discount for buying mulitple tracks? You don;t get a discount when you walk into Best buy / circuit city and walk out with 20 cds do you? No, you don’t! WTF is she talking about?

    Also, you can download videos off of iTunes… she’s an idiot.

  6. Just went to FNAC…my opinion…eh. Of course it seems to ONLY be in french…so I can’t really tell. How many languages does the ITunes Store handle…a dozen or more.

  7. Once again, “best” means all these other “features” that just a few people think are absolutely essential in becoming the “best” at something. “Best” doesn’t always equal “most features”.

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