December 29, 2006, 12:00 AM

Visits to iTunes site soar on Christmas Day, Hitwise says

The market share of visits to the iTunes web site soared 413% year-over-year on Christmas Day as new iPod owners flocked to the site to download music.

The market share of visits to the iTunes web site soared 413% year-over-year on Christmas Day as new iPod owners flocked to the site to download music, according to web site traffic measurement company Hitwise. The market share of visits to Apple Computer Inc.’s Apple Store, manufacturer of the iPod, rose 110% year-over-year on Dec. 25.

“For the third holiday season in a row, the iPod has been the must-have Christmas gift,” says Bill Tancer, general manager of global research, Hitwise. “Competitive offerings have not yet succeeded in capturing the attention of music listeners, and the surge in visits to the Apple Store shows that iPod owners are also engaged in filling and accessorizing their new devices.”

The average daily increase in visits to sites listed in the Hitwise Retail Index for the holiday shopping season-Thanksgiving Day through the Thursday before Christmas-was 5.9% year-over-year, according to Hitwise.

For the week ending Dec. 23, visits to the web sites increased 6.2% from the year-earlier period. Amazon.com remained the most visited web site, receiving 13.18% of visits to the Retail 100 Index sites. Walmart had the second most visits with 9.13%.

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