iTunes Store now top U.S. music retailer

Apple on Thursday announced that the iTunes Store is now the number one music retailer in the U.S., beating out Wal-Mart. The figures come from data published by the NPD Group.

It was only in February that Apple announced it was the number two music retailer in the United States. Apple indicated that it had over 50 million iTunes Store customers who had bought over four billion songs, with 20 million songs being purchased on Christmas Day 2007 alone.

“”We launched iTunes less than five years ago, and it has now become the number one music retailer in the world,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We are thrilled, and would like to thank all of our customers for helping us reach this incredible milestone.”

The analysis come from the NPD Group’s MusicWatch survey, which captures consumer reported past week unit purchases and counts one CD representing 12 tracks, excluding wireless transactions. Based on those figures, the iTunes Store became the largest music retailer in the U.S. based on the amount of music sold during January and February 2008.

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