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Can't Catch a Break Against iTunes
April 6, 2008
Thomas Mennecke
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Apple's iTunes is having fewer problems establishing itself as the dominant online music store. Although there's been competition from Napster, MySpace, and Yahoo, these services are quickly finding themselves buried by iTunes. According to a new study by Tempo Digital Music Brandscape, iTune's perception as the best digital music store is widening over the competition.

The study found some good news for Napster. It found that awareness of the Napster product existed among 72% of those polled. In other words, its a good bet that approximately 3 quarters of all Internet music downloaders know that Napster exists. That might be positive news for Napster's marketing department, however it still lags behind iTunes. According to the study, nearly 82% of those polled know about iTunes. iTunes also clearly asserted its dominance over other music stores, such as MySpace, Yahoo, Rhapsody, and surprisingly, Walmart.

Perhaps most importantly, the study found that iTunes has solidified its position as "the best" digital music store. Over the last three quarters, the study found that iTunes has consistently increased this perception in this category. In the 2nd quarter of 2007, 50% of those polled felt iTunes was "the best" online music store. This is a dominant lead over Napster's 10%, and leaves Walmart, MySpace, Rhapsody, and Yahoo's ~5% in the dust.

Additionally, this perception has steadily increased over the last 3 years. Consider that in 2005, 22% of downloaders felt that Napster was "the best" service, compared to 33% for iTunes. That narrow 10% lead has since evaporated, as iTunes has clearly become the dominant music store.

Why is this happening? It's hard to ignore the benefit of the iPod/iPhone-iTunes relationship. With the millions of new iPhone and iPods being sold on a yearly basis, the consumer has little other choice than to use iTunes because of compatibility issues. With that in mind, it's not hard to understand why a iPhone user who tests both Napster and iTunes would find the latter to be superior. Unfortunately it's not a measure of which service is indeed "better", rather a measure of what service will work with Apple products.

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Authorized Music Store :: iTunes

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