Amazon.com Inc.âs digital sales of e-books, music, videos and mobile apps surged 29% in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, as measured by revenue. That beat the 2% growth of digital sales during the same period for rival Apple Inc.âs iTunes, market research firm eDataSource reported today. The firm provided no year-over-year sales comparisons.
â29% growth from the previous quarter is an impressive number,â says Carter Nicholas, CEO of eDataSource, formerly known as Email Data Source.
EDataSource didnât provide actual digital sales figures. Neither Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, nor Apple, No. 3, break out digital sales from their total sales.
But eDataSource notes that Apple continues to dominate digital sales. Appleâs domestic digital sales, which Apple processes through its iTunes online store, are 3.5 times those of Amazonâs, eDataSource says. It also says that average spending per customer is 65% higher on iTunes compared with Amazon.
Still, eDataSource says that Amazon and other online retailers (which the report didnât name) are gaining on Apple as they improve their online stores for digital products. âAmazon and others are behind but showing growth as their ecosytems become more robust and complete,â Nicholas says.
For example, he adds, Amazonâs video-on-demand service enables customers to buy and watch videos immediately, âwhereas with iTunes you have to wait a long time for the movie to download.â
Apple, however, makes it easy to buy music via iPhones and iPads, eDataSource says. It adds that Appleâs digital sales are often made on weekdays, while Amazonâs digital video sales are particularly strong on Sunday evenings.
Apple did not immediately reply to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Amazon said it had no comment on the report.
EDataSource says that digital sales grew across all product categories in the first quarter. But it noted that Amazonâs digital sales were mainly to consumers using Amazonâs Kindle tablet computer to purchase digital versions of printed publications like books, magazines and newspapers, which accounted for 77% of Amazonâs digital sales over the past six months. The report also notes that music accounted for about 12% of Amazonâs digital sales, video-on-demand 8%, and mobile apps 2%.
EDataSource didnât provide a similar break-down of Appleâs digital sales. The research company bases its findings on a panel of 800,000 consumers and Â monitoring of more than 800,000 consumer e-mail inboxes and 9,000 brands.500 Online Sales: Growth: See More 1000 Online Sales: Growth: See More 400 Online Sales: Growth: See More