Digital music sales drop for the first time since the iTunes Store’s inception

Proponents of digital music are in for a surprise as sales of digital albums and individual songs nosedived last year, for the first time since Apple revolutionized the music business with its iTunes Music Store back in 2003. According to a report by Billboard, industry executives are once again oblivious to the fact that consumers' tastes are changing and are blaming streaming music services such as Pandora and iTunes Radio for the drop. The full breakdown is after the break...

Nielsen publishes list of top 10 iPhone apps for 2012

Nielsen, a highly regarded information and measurement firm, released its "Digital Tops of 2012" lists yesterday, which included topics like the top 10 Internet brands, and the top 10 iOS apps for the year.

The apps were picked based on average unique users from Q1 of 2012 to Q3, and as you might have guessed, four of the top 10 chosen are (were) native iOS apps like Maps and YouTube. We've got the full list after the fold...

Nielsen finds mobile devices, apps driving social media growth

Mobile devices and mobile apps are the driving force behind the growth of social media in the US, a new report concludes. Nearly a third of the time spent on social media sites is via mobile devices, researchers announced Monday. Indeed, consumers using smartphones and tablets comprised 63 percent of the growth in social media.

What's really interesting is that nearly half of that consumption comes from handsets such as the iPhone. Significantly, users of the mobile web rose 82 percent between July 2012 and July 2011, while app users grew 85 percent during the same time period. By comparison, PC usage fell by four percent...

Kids want an iPad for Christmas – and nothing else

Listen up, parents. Your kids want an iPad. Don't be swayed by the Microsoft Surface commercials or the Nintendo Wii U chatter. No matter whether your child is 6 or 16, the iPad is at the top of Christmas wish lists for 2012, a new survey has it. According to Nielsen Wire, the top four out of five most-wanted gifts for children and teens bear an Apple logo.

Even more intriguing are the changes in what Apple products are wanted this holiday season versus last year. If anything, the trend can be summed-up in one word: tablet...

Three out of every four U.S. adults have a smartphone now

Research firm Nielsen is out with a new survey this morning that focuses on the U.S. smartphone buyer. According to the findings, three out of every four U.S. consumers (75 percent) age 25-34 now have a smartphone in their pocket, an increase over 59 percent measured in July of last year.

And if you believe comScore, one out of every three who own a smartphone have an iPhone. The fastest-growing segment are teenagers between 13 and 17 years old who file as the nation's quickest smartphone adopters.

In July of 2012, 58 percent of polled teens said they had a smartphone, compared to roughly a third, or 36 percent, of teens saying they owned a smartphone just a year ago...

US downloads surge 28% to 41 apps per smartphone

With one in two in the United States now owning a smartphone (was 40 percent of mobile subscribers in 2011), app downloads are on the rise, too.

Compared to last year, the average smartphone consumer in the U.S. now has 41 apps on their home screen, a 28 percent increase from 32 apps in last year, according to a Nielsen study released this morning.

Here are the top five downloaded apps across the iOS and Android platforms...