iTunes overtakes Best Buy to become No.2 music retailer in U.S.

Bye bye Best Buy.

Apple put out a rather self-congratulatory press release today announcing that the company’s iTunes Store is now the number two music retailer in the U.S. And who are we not to repeat the news?

Previously holding the number three spot (having overtaken Amazon last June), iTunes has now knocked Best Buy out of its way, leaving only Wal-Mart out ahead. However, the boasting doesn’t stop there.

To date, Apple has over 50 million iTunes Store customers who have purchased over four billion songs (20 million tracks were sold on Christmas Day 2007 alone). Apple also claims to have “the world’s largest music catalog of over six million songs from all of the major and thousands of independent labels”.

“We’d like to thank the over 50 million music lovers who have helped the iTunes Store reach this incredible milestone,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes in a written statement. “We continue to add great new features like iTunes Movie Rentals to give our customers even more reason to love iTunes.”

Love iTunes we may, but let’s not forget there’s a new kid on the block: AmazonMP3 (see our full review) with all its DRM-free and iPod compatible goodness, not to mention lower prices. When iTunes overtook Amazon to grab third spot, the e-retailer didn’t yet have a music download store of its own. How long before Amazon catches up again?

last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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