( dpa ) - Apple on Thursday claimed to have overtaken Wal-Mart as the top music retailer in the United States, underscoring the rapid transformation of the music business from CD's to downloads.
Apple, whose iTunes music store and iPod players dominate the market, said that figures collected by research group NPD showed iTunes as the top music retailer in the US for the months of January and February.
The figures showed Apple surpassing Wal-Mart less than two months after a similar report in which Apple moved past Target for second place in terms of US music sales.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, album sales declined 9.5 per cent last year as the sale of digital music tracks rose 45 per cent, to 844.2 million tracks.
Apple launched the iTunes store in April 2003 and has since sold more than 4 billion songs to over 50 million customers.