Apple’s iTunes Store has widened its lead over Wal-Mart for market share of US music retail, according to a report from Billboard. iTunes’ share of the US account base was 26.7% last year, up from 21.4% in 2008, and 12.7% in 2007. Its introduction of variable pricing is thought to have been the key to its share increase in 2009. Meanwhile, second-placed Wal-Mart’s share dropped from 15% in 2008 to 12.5% in 2009, with Best Buy in third with 8.7%. That means iTunes is selling more music than Wal-Mart and Best Buy combined in the US. Amazon rose from 4.9% in 2008 to 7.1% in 2009, although only 1.3% of that was due to its MP3 Store. Collectively, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile, AT&T and Zed accounted for 4.9% of the market.

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