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iTunes Gains in U.S. Online Movie Market

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The Apple iTunes Store is the U.S. video-on-demand leader, and its margin grew during the first half of 2011. Those findings come from information services company IHS, which notes that iTunes was able to reverse previous declines in market share.

Looking at two categories called movie electronic sell-through (EST) and Internet video-on-demand (iVOD), IHS finds that the iTunes Store had 64.9 percent of the market in the first half of 2010, versus 65.8 percent in the first half of 2011. The 2010 figure had showed a 11.9 point decline, and this 2011 figure shows the first growth in market share for iTunes since 2009.

Making the growth all the more impressive, says IHS, is that competition in the space has been increasing. It largely credits the gain to Apple AirPlay.

"Much of iTunes' success can be traced to the rising usage of Apple's AirPlay system, which allows wireless video streaming to consumer electronic devices including televisions. This has expanded the reach of iTunes to new platforms, boosting sales of movies from the system," says Arash Amel, research director, digital media, for IHS.

IHS says that a growing iPad user base and sales promotions also led to the increase. Looking to other movie services, it found growth at Walmart's Vudu, but declines at Microsoft's Zune Video Marketplace, Sony's PlayStation Store, and Amazon.

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