May 2, 2008, 12:00 AM

iTunes outplays Wal-Mart in music sales

In another sign of the power of the web in music sales, Apple Inc.’s online iTunes Store surpassed Wal-Mart Stores Inc. with the most overall music sales in January, according to a report from NPD Group Inc.

By Paul Demery

In another sign of the power of the web in music sales, Apple Inc.’s online iTunes Store topped the retail charts with the most overall music sales in January and February, overtaking Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for the first time, according to sales figures compiled by research NPD Group Inc.

“We launched iTunes less than five years ago, and it has now become the No. 1 music retailer in the world,” says Eddy Cue, vice president of iTunes. The digital music service maintains a digital catalog of more than 6 million songs and, since its launch in 2003, has sold more than 4 billion songs to more than 50 million customers, Apple says.

Wal-Mart, which declines to comment on the NPD report, came in second in January and February music sales, followed by Best Buy Co. Inc., with Amazon.com Inc. and Target Corp. tied for fourth.

paul@verticalwebmedia.com

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