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Quick Hits: Apple Jumps Wal-Mart in Music Sales


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines

1).jpg" alt="" />The world's largest retailer is no longer the world's largest purveyor of music.

According to a new consumer survey by the NPD Group, Apple's (AAPL) iTunes music store overtook Wal-Mart (WMT) as the number one seller of songs worldwide. The company said it has sold over four billion tracks since the service launched in 2003.

Record labels are very slowly coming around to something iPod users have known for years: Digital music is the future. Initially, music companies fearful of piracy resisted migrating to the Web.

Somewhat ahead its time -- in music and in marketing -- British rock group Radiohead sold its last album, In Rainbows, in an usual way. The band allowed fans to pick their own price. In a testament to the merits of the free market, albums sold for an average of $8, just below the cost of a typical iTunes sale. Capitalism, apparently, still works.

For more on Wal-Mart check out Hoofy & Boo's always astute report.

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