Apple remains in control of digital music sales in the US, but has lost some ground in the past few years, according to a new NPD Group report. The company currently holds a 63 percent marketshare with iTunes
, down from 66 percent in 2010. Amazon
has meanwhile established itself as a major player, now at 22 percent of the market versus 13 percent in 2010. The companies are however competing for a static number of music buyers, since the number of Americans that have bought at least one song has remained at roughly 44 million annually for the past three years.
The public is believed to be de-emphasizing music ownership. Only 38 percent of NPD's survey group now says it's important to own music, which may signal a growing dependence on streaming services, such as Pandora, Spotify, Slacker, and Last.fm. NPD does note however that streaming appears to be encouraging some sales; of the people using such services, 41 percent say they've bought music they discovered that way.