The NPD Group — a research group that provides perspective on music industry issues — says that Apple’s iTunes Music Store is the most successful digital music store that’s been launched, having translated “consumer awareness into actual usage.” On the other hand, the NPD Group says that companies like Rhapsody and Pressplay “that boast a longer history in this arena and a broader base of potential users have less awareness and very low usage rates.”
According to the report, the iTunes Music Store reached 20 percent awareness among all consumers 13 and over (based on a survey conducted in June). Among Mac users, consumer awareness (not surprisingly) was 46 percent. What’s more, six percent of Mac users have bought a song or album at the online music store, the NPD Group says. They add that Pressplay and Rhapsody both showed a 14 percent awareness among all consumers and less than one percent of individuals age 13 and older reported downloading music from either site. Future usage intent wasn’t any better.
“Obviously iTunes has struck a chord among consumers — especially Mac users,” said Russ Crupnick, vice president of The NPD Group. “Half of this audience is aware of the iTunes Music Store, which is borne out by the fact that iTunes’s usage is higher only two months after launch than that of other music sites that have been around for over a year. It remains to be seen whether existing fee-based sites can leverage their offerings to meet or exceed the success enjoyed by iTunes as well as whether they can begin to pull users from free file sharing services like Kazaa and Morpheus.”