Apple iTunes Store’s digital download market share continues to grow

Apple Online Store“Steep discounts are a cornerstone of Amazon’s strategy to gain traction in a market in which iTunes remains the dominant player. At the same time, a debate has arisen among music labels about whether such discounts risk undermining the value of their products,” Ethan Smith and Geoffrey A. Fowler report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Despite its cut-throat pricing, Amazon has made little headway against Apple, which closely ties its iTunes software to its iPods and other gadgets,” Smith and Fowler report. “Amazon’s share of the paid digital-download market rose to 13.3% in the third quarter, from 11% the year earlier, according to estimates from research firm NPD Group. Meanwhile, iTunes’ share rose to 66.2%, from 63.2%.”

Smith and Fowler report,” Distribution executives at record labels say the disparity between the two may be even steeper, with Amazon commanding just 6% to 10% of the market in any given week, and Apple closer to 90%.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. I almost feel bad for Amazon. They are in the business of selling content, so they need to turn a profit selling digital music. But it can’t because it needs to undercut Apple on price to get any sales. For Apple, the iTunes Store is more of a value-added service for its hardware customers, to help increase sales of iPods, iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Apple and Amazon not just competing with different rules, they are not even playing the same game.

    But Apple’s music sales business probably turns a decent profit these days, especially since the recording industry “forced” Apple to sell the most popular songs (new and old) for $1.29, allowing Apple to make a few extra pennies per sale. A lot of those $1.29 songs still go for 99-cents on Amazon, yet Apple has only gained in market share.

    I’m glad Amazon’s digital music store exists. Although I buy most songs from the iTunes Store, whenever the song I want is priced at $1.29, I look for the same song on Amazon; often, the price there is still 99-cents. Also, the number of FREE songs on Amazon is ridiculous. Apple offers a few songs for free on any given week, to highlight that artist and drive traffic to non-free songs. Amazon has hundreds of free songs at any given time, and they stay on the free list for weeks; it sort of defeats the purpose of attracting customers with free songs when all they do is hunt for other free songs.

    And I think Apple is happy for Amazon to take some of the load of its servers, as long as most of those songs from Amazon are being played on Apple devices.

  2. The Amazon $5 albums each month beats iTunes hands down; I’ve made some interesting discoveries, as well as picking up some old favorites.

    That being said, I just added to Apple’s market share by downloading the TRON:Legacy soundtrack; now looking into showtimes for next week.

  3. I use Amazon only when I can’t find music I want at iTunes. This does happen with some frequency, and sometimes they have it digitally, but sometimes I have to (gulp) buy an actual DISK!

  4. I would like to know how many sales are being done through iTunes, Amazon vs physical sales.

    I get the feeling that downloads are slowing down in growth whilst CD sales are shrinking at a faster rate.

    No one is given raw numbers. Someone must have them since percent sales are calculated.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.