Veteran music download service eMusic has taken over the number-two spot in digital music downloads, according to the NPD Group. A USA Today article from Sunday details the quiet success of the subscription-to-own service, which offers songs in non-DRM MP3 format.
Despite the fact that most of eMusic's catalog comes from independent labels, the service has a market share of 11 percent, more than Napster (4 percent) and Rhapsody (4 percent) combined (source: the NPD Group, January to May 2006). Part of eMusic's success is attributed to the fact that its tracks are compatible with the popular iPod, while music from Napster, Rhapsody, MSN Music, and others is not. Obviously, the lack of DRM makes eMusic very popular as well. eMusic is still far behind the iTunes Music Store, which accounts for about 67 percent of the legal U.S. download market.
Source: USA Today