Amazon thrives in the digital download jungle

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Market research firm NPD has just released figures on the market share of US music retailers, including both physical CD sales and digital downloads combined. iTunes overtook Wal-mart earlier this year and remains the top music seller. These new figures for the first half of 2008 have Amazon climbing into forth place with its combined CD mail-order and mp3 download service. The top five music retailers in the US are:
    1) iTunes
    2) Wal-Mart (includes Walmart,, Walmart Music Downloads)
    3) Best Buy (includes Best Buy,, Best Buy Digital Music Store)
    4) Amazon (,
    5) Target (Target and

Amazon is offering DRM-free music which makes it more attractive than iTunes for many consumers. iTunes, however, has a massive head start in the market and is still the default destination for many. Interestingly, it is Amazon's combined CD and download sales that have put it into forth place. Amazon is the Long Tail company in this list, benefiting from special orders and niche markets, while iTunes, Wal-mart, and Best Buy focus on major sellers.


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