It’s safe to say the music industry is in a transition period, but one thing that’s not going anywhere? iTunes.
iTunes has quickly taken hold of a good portion of the entire music industry: it accounts for 25% of all music units sold in the U.S., digitial or otherwise, up from 21% in 2008, according to NPD Group.
And no surprise here, iTunes has an especially firm grasp of the digital music market–it’s responsible for 69% of consumer downloads, followed directly by AmazonMP3 with just 8%. With its upcoming iTunes 9 and its rumored social media integration, that grip will likely only tighten.
The growth of the digital music market is impressive–it shot up from 20% of the music market to 35% in just two years. It’s definitely good news for the environment, and could be a good sign for the music industry overall–more people buying music online might mean less people are illegally downloading music online. And if the digital music market really takes over, that will be a huge cut in manufacturing costs for companies.
We still have a ways to go, though. Most Americans are still getting their music from CDs, which hold 65% of the market share (Wal-Mart accounting for 20%, leading the physical market). And let’s be honest–radio sites like Pandora and the ever-present lure of stealing music make it hard to shell out any amount of money for music.