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Apple iTunes still dominating US music sales

Apple has retained its stranglehold on US digital music downloads despite some pretty desperate measures from its competitors.

According to figures from NDP, Apple's iTunes accounted for almost exactly two thirds (66.2 per cent) of music downloaded by American punters in the third quarter of 2010.

In some single weeks of last year, according to data seen by the Wall Street Journal, Apple's dominance was even more complete, at times hitting 90 per cent.

All of that is despite the fact that Apple's closest competitor, bookselling behemoth Amazon, attempted to steal the Cupertino Company's thunder by offering desperate discounts on featured albums, selling them for as little as $3.99 despite reportedly still having to pay the $7 to $8 wholesale price to publishers.

Apple is now responsible for more than one in every four American music sales regardless of format, which is starting to get of the nose of Big Music because it can no longer charge whatever it wants for crap people will listen to once before consigning it to the dustbin of musical history.