NPD’s most recent report examining U.S. digital music downloads shows that while Apple continues to hold a dominant share of the market, their piece of the pie has shrunk, while Amazon’s has grown.
The research firm reports that Apple continues to hold a 63% share of the market down from 66% in 2010, with Amazon at 22%, up from 13% 3 years ago. Some 44 million Americans bought at least one song last year, with NPD saying that number has remained stable over the past three years.
“Since the launch of Apple’s iTunes store, digital music downloads have become the dominant revenue source for the recorded music industry and iTunes continues to be the dominant retailer,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president of industry analysis at NPD. “There’s a belief that consumers don’t need to buy music because of streaming options, when in fact streamers are much more likely than the average consumer to buy music downloads.”
However, NPD’s own study show that only 38% of consumers feel that it’s important to own their music, while 41% of the users of such streaming music services like Pandora or Spotify reported that they had purchased music they had heard on the service.