I guess people really want their holiday music. A surge of visitors to the iTunes Music Store has helped to propel Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) even higher in the rankings of the Internet's most-visited domains.
Apple's site reported a 57% increase in November traffic, according to Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick CNET (Nasdaq: CNET ) , which quoted data from Nielsen/NetRatings. Apple.com, which includes iTunes Music Store traffic, added 30.8 million more unique visitors year over year, making Apple the fastest-growing website among the Internet's top 10 brands.
Let's see how the others stack up. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) increased visitors by 29% in November, and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) visitors rose by 16% that month. Close followers of the digital music wars should also note that RealNetworks (Nasdaq: RNWK ) drew 12% more visitors, the fifth highest increase on the list.
The CNET article noted that the best-performing companies on the list also released the most new products, as both Apple and Google would indicate. Apple's iPod nano looks like it's been a hit, and the video iPod will likely prove a holiday gift favorite as well. (Not to mention all the accessories that iPod users tend to clamor for.)
Increased Web traffic is just the latest sign of Apple's growing dominance in music sales. I recently noted that iTunes was gaining impressive ground in the list of the top 10 music retailers, outselling established stores such as Borders (NYSE: BGP ) and Tower Records.
There's no arguing Apple's status as the current king of online music. Whether Apple's shares are priced to match its performance is a whole different question, given the stock's lofty P/E ratio of 47. As January's Macworld Expo approaches, many Apple fans are eager to see what the new year has in store.
Alyce Lomax is a Mac-using iPod and iTunes junkie, but she does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.