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May - 2008 - issue > Tech Tracker
Apple beats Wal-Mart in Music sales
Christo Jacob
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Apple’s iTunes bang on Wal-Mart indicates the new wave in music retailing market. The research firm NPD charted Apple’s iTunes online music store as surpassing the supermarket group Wal-Mart in garnering the music retail market in the U.S. The iTunes store leads the pack with 19 percent, Wal-Mart is second with 15 percent, and Best Buy is third with 13 percent. Amazon is a distant fourth at six percent, trailed by the likes of Borders, Circuit City, and Barnes & Noble.

“It is the first instance of an electronic venue surpassing a retail venue for any kind of media delivery,” says Tom Adams, President of the consulting firm Adams Media Research. Apple probably received a sales boost during the two months when customers started cashing in on the iTunes gift cards, which they received during the holiday season. Wal-Mart, together with other music retailers, is actually helping Apple by selling these cards in their stores. The difference is rapidly decreasing between the U.S. consumers who buy more CD’s than digital downloads. It took Apple just less than five years to takeover the industry and jump over huge CD sellers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Target.

ITunes, which was launched in 2003, seems to be a welcome development in the music industry that was struggling against piracy. Apple has continued to improve iTunes,making it even more attractive for its users. The company recently added movie rentals to iTunes, including an attractive weekly 99 Cent rental, while improving compatibility with Apple TV.

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