More people in the US turned to Apple’s iTunes Store for their music purchases in the first half of 2008 than to any other music retailer, according to a MusicWatch consumer survey released today by NPD Group, a leading market researcher.
Apple’s digital distribution sales outpaced the three leading physical cd distributors, WalMart, Best Buy, and Target. Amazon, which launched a digital distribution service last year, moved from fifth place into fourth based on consumers’ increasing preference for downloading files over owning physical cds.
“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 NPD. NPD combines digital and physical sales for those outlets who market music in both formats and 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.