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7digital: iTunes has peaked

7digital: iTunes has peaked
iTunes: past its prime?

Apple's digital music dominance is slipping, says 7digital, suggesting that streaming services are eating into iTunes' chunk of the musical pie.

"iTunes has peaked," said 7digital's CEO Ben Drury at the company's annual meeting which TechRadar attended.

"Its market share is around 85 per cent for individual tracks," he explained, "but it's significantly lower for albums.

"iTunes' success has always been tied to the iPod's market share, which was very high - almost monopolistically high - but now people consume and acquire music on more devices and this alone is leading to the decrease in iTunes' market share."

Times they are a-changing

It's not all pointing and issuing a Nelson Muntz sytle ha-ha in Apple's direction, though. Drury concedes that the fruit-flavoured company will "still be number one for a long time".

But, for the first time it looks as though it may drop some share points: "In the UK, we reckon iTunes will see lower market share in 2012 than 2011 - and a lot of that is to do with Spotify.

"Spotify is pretty much owning and dominating the music rental market in the UK."

Which is nice of 7digital to say, before going on to insist that it is neither on the side of music ownership or rental, preferring to facilitate and encourage both.

The company also announced a new partnership with Microsoft which will see 7digital music services land on Windows Phone handsets and as part of Windows 8 next year.

News Editor (UK)

It's a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she's constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. And having been immersed in the world of tech and tech rumours for more than six years, she can spot a photoshopped iPhone 8 image from 20 paces.