PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The NPD Group here reported this week that Apple, Cupertino, Calif., has surpassed Best Buy and Target, both of Minneapolis, to become the No. 2 U.S. music retailer, behind Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark. Digital sales were up close to 50% and CD sales were down 20% last year, said Russ Crupnick, NPD’s president of music. “Even at half that growth rate in digital sales, Apple will in all likelihood catch Wal-Mart this year.” Last month Apple launched iTunes Movie Rentals, offering video from 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate Entertainment and New Line Cinema.
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