Amazon.com Inc., the world’s largest online retailer, grew at a faster pace than leader Apple Inc. in song downloads in the U.S. last quarter and tied Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for second place in overall music sales.
During the period, Amazon.com had 12 percent of the market for digital songs and physical CDs, the same as Wal-Mart, according to NPD Group Inc., a research firm in Port Washington, New York. In downloaded music, Amazon.com added 4 percentage points of share, compared with 1 percent for Apple, NPD said.
Wal-Mart and Amazon.com are vying to close a gap with Apple, which according to NPD has 28 of the retail music market. Apple’s iTunes and Amazon.com let consumers download individual songs, typically for about a dollar. Unlike Apple, Amazon.com also sells CDs.
“Amazon’s growth reflects a stronger position in both the CD and digital formats,” Russ Crupnick, an analyst for NPD, said in a statement. “This dual-pronged approach of selling both digital music and CDs helps attract the most valuable and committed music buyer who prefers access to both formats.”
Sales of digital tracks grew 5 percentage points, accounting for 40 percent of music sold in the quarter, NPD said.