iTunes is on track to become the largest music retailer in the U.S., pipping Wal-Mart to the title. (I’ve never known anyone to buy popular music from Wal-Mart. Clearly I’m out of the mainstream.)
NPD said yesterday that iTunes had in fact overtaken Best Buy and Target to become the second biggest music retailer, but its projections show iTunes claiming the number one spot before the end of the year. Digital music sales were up last year while CD sales fell, as you know. And if CD sales continue to decline, why should brick and mortar retailers still devote so much shelf space to them? So, CD sales go down, retailers stop stocking them, people buy their music online. It’s a reinforcing cycle.
Though I do wonder exactly how often you guys use iTunes to buy music. When I buy music, nine times out of ten it’s off Beatport.com, but that’s merely a reflection in my taste in music. I don’t even think I had an iTunes phase; I think the last song from there I bought was a The Knife song during the summer. But if it’s the biggest music retailer (or soon to be) then surely some of you are heavy users.