The digital revolution continues

Apple is now the number one music retailer in the US. From ars technica:

Over the past few years, we have watched Apple climb the music sales chart courtesy of the iTunes. Last month we learned that Apple passed Best Buy to become the number two retailer in the the US. Now, Apple has ascended to the top of the charts, surpassing Wal-Mart for the first time ever, according to the NPD MusicWatch Survey.

And paid digital downloads accounted for 30% of all music sold in January.

No wonder the labels are finally taking notice. I am hearing talk in lots of places that they are (finally) close to deals with some of the free ad supported music services. Let’s just hope they are being sensible about the economics.

As we ponder the economics of free it is interesting to note that the leading music retailer in the US is only in the music business to sell iPods. Unsurprisingly they are aggressively driving the price of music downwards.