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Apple has 90% of legal video download market

Legal download market is still lagging far behind illegal filesharing

Apple holds a considerable chunk of the legal download market relating to films, TV shows and music videos, a new report shows. The only real competition comes from illegal filesharing.

As 90 per cent of online videos are sold through its iTunes Store, Apple is dominating the legal download market, according to new figures from consumer information company NPD Group.

Despite various new names popping up in the video download sector, iTunes seems untouchable. Vongo, in second place, has a market share of 5 per cent and third-place Movielink has 3 per cent. All other services share the remaining 2 per cent.

But the legal download market is still lagging far behind illegal filesharing activities. For every film sold through legal stores, the report estimates that five illegal copies are downloaded.

Porn dominates the filesharing market, with a 60 per cent share, ahead of TV series on 20 per cent. Feature films only account for 5 per cent of filesharing downloads.

In the legal download market TV series are most popular, with 62 per cent. In second place is music videos (24 per cent), followed by full-length feature films on 6 per cent.

Apple hasn't offered full-length movies on iTunes for that long however, and still only Disney-produced movies are available. This is expected to change in the new year.

Online movie sales set to 'double or triple' next year

According to NPD Group's analysts, online movie sales are expected to increase by 100-200 per cent during 2007.

"Paid usage could double or triple within the next year as more content comes online, consumers acquire more video-enabled players and movies are offered that consumers can actually burn to DVD," Russ Crupnick, vice president and senior industry analyst for the NPD Group said.

The report showed that about 1.2 million US households purchased at least one video download from an online store in the third quarter of 2006, whereas some six million households they had downloaded at least one digital video file (10MB or larger) from a filesharing service for free in the same time period.