iTunes dominates US music retail, Amazon fails to dent share

The figures are in and they confirm that iTunes remains the biggest US digital music retailer, with Amazon failing to grab too much of Apple’s digital music heartland.

NPD tells us AAPL’s iTunes took 66.2% of the digital music market in the third quarter of this year – that’s up from 63.2% in Q3 2009.  Easy still beats free.

Author Ad Placeholder
Will only appear on redesign env.

Amazon’s share also rose — from 11% to 13.3%. That’s good news in some ways, but in reality means that steep discounts and the company’s readiness to actually pay a financial penalty for offering albums at discounts (like, $3.99) isn’t working, at least, not in the sense of denting iTunes’ market share.

Amazon pays the full wholesale price on those subsidized albums to labels, after all.

“Distribution executives at record labels say the disparity between the two may be even steeper, with Amazon commanding just 6% to 10% of the market in any given week, and Apple closer to 90%,” says the Wall Street Journal.

It really is the continuation of a trend. In 2008, Apple overtook Walmart to take the No. 1 slot among US music retailers. iTunes accounted for over a quarter of all US music sales last year.

Meanwhile, record label bosses are said to be increasingly unhappy at iTunes in its hold on music sales. This may account for seeming reticence on their part to sign-up for the cloud-based music services fans are demanding these days. Progress for iTunes, Google and Spotify for offering such services in the US have all been impacted by the usual label foot-dragging.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel