HITS Daily Double

iTunes vs. Amazon MP3

's share of the paid digital-download market gained more than two percentage points to 13.3% in the third quarter, up from 11% the year earlier—but iTunes outgained its wannabe rival, picking up three percentage points to 66.2%, from 63.2%. These estimates from the NPD Group form the basis of a Wall Street Journal piece on Amazon MP3’s strategies and struggles as the three-year-old digital store has tried to close the gap. Distribution execs at the majors told reporters Ethan Smith and Geoffrey Fowler that the disparity between the two may be even steeper than the above stats suggest, with Amazon commanding just 6% to 10% of the market in any given week, and Apple closer to 90%. But Amazon's discounts can be effective. In the case of the Kid Rock’s Born Free, which he once again refused to give iTunes, while Amazon made it the $3.99 Daily Deal, digital downloads made up 12% of the 189k units sold during its first week. (12/17a)