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Insights from the UK and beyond

from The Great Debate UK:

Can anyone stop the dominance of iTunes?

**Tom Dunmore is Editor-in-Chief of Stuff magazine. The views expressed are his own.**

tomdunmoreeicstuffmagazine2Amazon’s music download service has finally arrived in the UK. That’s great news for music fans, who will benefit from lower prices and greater choice - but it’s not going to save the music industry from the dominance of iTunes.

After all, Amazon’s download service has been running for a year in America, but it’s still way behind iTunes. In fact, even if you add all of Amazon’s CD sales into the mix, iTunes is still bigger.

Here in the UK, iTunes has well over 50 percent of the music download market (some put the figure as high as 80 percent). And that’s despite Amazon’s biggest online rival Play.com selling MP3 music at knockdown prices for the past six months. Why? Because neither Play.com nor Amazon can match Apple’s integration of iTunes software and iPod hardware.

Which gadgets could you do without in a downturn?

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Would you give up your laptop, your iPod or even your mobile to help pay the bills?

Some devices that seemed like luxuries just a few years ago are now seen by many people as necessities.

Does the “iPod of books” spell the end for paperbacks?

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reader2.jpgIt weighs less than a hardback, can store all your favourite novels and is tipped by some to do for books what the iPod did for music.

This week’s British launch of the Sony “Reader“, a gadget that holds up to 160 electronic books, has stoked a fierce debate over whether the publishing industry could finally go digital.

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