NPD’s latest research reports one in four U.S. Internet users now use iTunes—almost 51 million people—and an increase of 3% since last year. Music remains the primary activity of iTunes users, although app downloads is also seeing growth. 54% of iTunes users downloaded or listened to music this year and 28% downloaded a free app (up 4% over last year). 16% downloaded a paid app (also up 4%).
NPD’s report aptly titled, “iTunes User Report 2011” shows that the total number of U.S. consumers purchasing content of any kind from Apple’s store grew by over a million this year. Of that consumer group a growing number of purchases are coming from app buyers. Last year 82% of iTunes buyers bought music and 31% purchased apps. In 2011, however those levels have changed. This year only 75% of iTunes content buyers chose music and 39% purchased apps. Video purchases declined from 20% to 19%.
“The beauty of the iPad is that it brings together social media, access to artist websites, apps from IMBD, and Flixster, and Pandora and other streaming radio sites, all of which can be cross-leveraged to foster more awareness of movies and music,” says Russ Crupnick, Sr. VP and Entertainment Analyst for The NPD Group. “There is a continuing opportunity to build video and music revenue by creating a linear path from content discovery to content purchasing.”
The survey was based upon over 4,000 interview from respondents 13 and older that reported using iTunes and least once in the past three months.