Apple Inc. this week released its annual lists of best-sellers, as well as a handful of awards for songs, albums and podcasts that its editors handpicked. The lists are particularly interesting because of Apple's market dominance, owning 63% of digital music downloads in the U.S.
This year's big winner is Justin Timberlake, who waltzes away with the award for Artist of the Year, as well as the No. 1 top-selling album with "The 20/20 Experience" and No. 10 best-selling track with "Mirrors." Macklemore and Ryan Lewis also are whistling their way to the bank with the No. 1 track, "Thrift Shop," and the No. 6 best-selling album, "The Heist."
One caveat: Though the list includes Beyonce's surprise Dec. 13 release of her self-titled album, the list is based on downloads up to Dec. 16, capturing just a few days of her album's sales, which has already broken iTunes' records for first-week album sales. The strong performance all but ensures that Beyonce's album will be No. 1 on this week's Billboard 200 list.
Other music-related chart-toppers for iTunes include Pandora, which was the No. 9 most-downloaded free app of the year, and Free Music Download Pro, a $1.99 app that was the No. 7 most downloaded paid iPhone app. The app lets users scour the Web for free MP3 files they can download, irrespective of the files' legal status.
Find iTunes' music-related lists below.
Artist of the Year: "The 20/20 Experience," Justin Timberlake
Album of the Year: "The Heist," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Song of the Year: "Royals," Lorde
Breakthrough Album: "Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City," Kendrick Lamar
- "The 20/20 Experience," Justin Timberlake
- "Beyoncé," Beyoncé
- "Night Visions," Imagine Dragons
- "Magna Carta... Holy Grail," JAY Z
- "Nothing Was the Same," Drake
- "The Heist," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- "Pitch Perfect," Various Artists
- "Babel," Mumford & Sons
- "The Marshall Mathers LP2", Eminem
- "Random Access Memories," Daft Punk
- "Thrift Shop (feat. Wanz)," Ryan Lewis & Macklemore
- "Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell)," Robin Thicke
- "Radioactive," Imagine Dragons
- "Just Give Me a Reason (feat. Nate Ruess)," P!nk
- "Can't Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton)," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- "When I Was Your Man," Bruno Mars
- "Stay (feat. Mikky Ekko)," Rihanna
- "Roar," Katy Perry
- "Royals," Lorde
- "Mirrors," Justin Timberlake
Best News & Politics Podcast: MSNBC Rachel Maddow (video)
Best Comedy Podcast: The Adam and Dr. Drew Show
Best Social Sciences Podcast: AsapScience Best Society & Culture: Stuff You Should Know
- "Happy Tree Friends"
- "Real Time with Bill Maher"
- NPR Programs: "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!"
- Grammar Girl: "Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing"
- Coffee Break: "Spanish"
- NBC Nightly News (video)
- SModcast: "SModcast"
- APM: "A Prairie Home Companion's News from Lake Wobegon"
- The Moth Podcast: "10 TEDTalks" (in HD)