iTunes Accounts for 28% of U.S. Music Sales

Apple’s (s aapl) iTunes now accounts for 28 percent of all music sales within the U.S., according to recently released NPD group data.

This four percent gain since Q1 2009 detail that Apple’s digital store still holds the top spot as the number one music retailer within the U.S. Apple has been in this pole-position for some time now, first passing retail giant Walmart (s wmt) in 2008.

For more information on using iTunes, see our iTunes 101 screencast on TechUniversity (subscription required).

The NPD findings added that digital music sales now account for a 40 percent share of all U.S. industry sales, a trend which has benefited online retailer Amazon (s amzn). Amazon, who benefits from sales of both digital and physical music, has risen to second place in the NPD rankings. The firm now ties with Walmart with each holding 12 percent of sales.

Amazon’s MP3 business has attributed largely to its rise to second place, in addition to scaling down of physical CD sales at stores like Walmart. Analyst Russ Crupnick commented on the sales shift:

Online shopping offers consumers who still want CDs more variety than they would get in a brick-and-mortar store; plus, recommendations, and other interactive features that raise the overall value proposition for music buyers.

The battle for digital music sales is no-doubt bound to heat up over the next few years, as sales tactics get more fierce and the popularity of portable devices, including the likes of the iPad, Kindle, Dell’s upcoming Streak and many more, rise.

Related TechUniversity Screencast: Smart Playlists in iTunes (sub req’d)