Although paid music downloads are certainly popular these
comprised 65% of all tracks sold in the first half of 2009 according to the NPD
Group's MusicWatch survey. Paid digital music downloads increased from 30% market
share in all of 2008 to 35% of tracks purchased by U.S. consumers in the first
half of 2009.
For the purposes of the survey, digital sales included
downloads to the PC and over-the-air full-track downloads to cell phones, but they
did not include cell phone ringtone downloads. The survey also excluded
music-subscription services. NPD defined a full-length CD as offering 12
"Many people are surprised that the CD is still the
dominant music-delivery format, given the attention to digital music and the
shrinking retail footprint for physical products," said Russ Crupnick,
entertainment industry VP. "But with digital music sales growing at 15 to
20 percent, and CDs falling by an equal proportion, digital music sales will
nearly equal CD sales by the end of 2010."
In terms of music downloads, Apple’s iTunes
continues to enjoy great success, having expanded its lead in the market to 69%
of all digital music sold in the first half of the year; AmazonMP3 held 8%. Walmart
leads the pack in terms of physical CD sales with a 20% share followed by Best
Buy at 16% and Target and Amazon with 10% each. If you combine physical and
digital sales, iTunes still leads in the U.S. with 25% of all music units sold.