The NPD Group: iTunes Store Still Mostly About Music

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Despite steady growth in app downloads on Apple devices, music remains the primary activity for the average iTunes user, according to NPD's "iTunes User Report 2011."

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There’s no reason the music or video industry should accept a loss of buyers, as device preferences change. There is significant opportunity to foster discovery and engagement.

According to a new report from The NPD Group, a leading market research company, one in four (51 million) U.S. Internet users now use iTunes, which is an increase of 3 percent since last year. Despite steady growth in app downloads on Apple devices, music remains the primary activity for the average iTunes user. More than half (54 percent) of all iTunes users uploaded music to an iPod or listened to music on iTunes in the past three months, while 28 percent downloaded a free app (an increase of 4 percent over the prior year) and 16 percent paid to download an app (also up 4 percent).

According to NPD’s “iTunes User Report 2011,” the total number of U.S. consumers purchasing content from iTunes increased by one million people this year, and a larger percentage of those purchases came from app buyers. Last year 82 percent of iTunes content buyers purchased music, while just 31 percent purchased apps; however, in 2011 just 75 percent of iTunes content buyers purchased music, while 39 percent purchased apps. iTunes video buyers declined by 1 percentage point to 19 percent this year. On the device side, NPD noted that consumers who only used iPads were less likely than those using either iPods or iPhones to buy music and rent movies, primarily because of the attention being paid to apps and games.

“There’s no reason the music or video industry should accept a loss of buyers, as device preferences change,” said Russ Crupnick, senior vice president and entertainment analyst for The NPD Group “They have significant opportunities to foster discovery, engagement, and purchases using the tablet platform.”

“The beauty of the iPad is that it brings together social media, access to artist websites, apps from IMDb, and Flixster, and Pandora and other streaming radio sites, all of which can be cross-leveraged to foster more awareness of movies and music,” Crupnick continued. “There is a continuing opportunity to build video and music revenue by creating a linear path from content discovery to content purchasing.”

The information in this press release is based on The NPD Group’s “iTunes User Report 2011,” which is based on 4,011 completed surveys from qualified respondents (age 13 and older) conducted in May 2011. Each respondent reported using iTunes at least once in the past three months. Statistical significance testing has been employed at the 95 percent confidence level.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.

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