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As more consumers have opted to purchase their music online over the last few years, the market share of digital music retailers has increased rapidly. With iTunes leading the charge, digital retailers now account for over 35% of all music sales. The introduction of variable pricing by iTunes in April of this year brought on a dramatic increase in the number of monthly transactions per user, helping them to pass Wal-Mart as the leading music retailer. It is also important to note the other digital retailers implementing different sales models that are increasing total user spending and beginning to stake claim to a significant share of the market.
Historically, Americans have taken their time getting comfortable with new technology before forking over serious cash for it. When color TVs came out in the 1950s, consumers were entranced. But it took another 20 years for half of US households to ditch their B&W sets; two decades later, DVD players hit that benchmark in just six years. If you think those flatscreen HDTVs are pricey, consider this: They cost about the same, adjusted for inflation, as the first color TVs. Here’s a look back at what we’ve paid for gadget lust.