Downloads can take many forms, but there is no question that downloading is one of the most important distribution methods in the 21st Century. Downloading is a process in which data is transferred over the Internet to individual computer end-users.
Downloads have, in some instances, taken the place of the traditional retail experience in which a customer enters a store, hands a cashier money, and leaves the store with a tangible, physical product. Music, movies, photos, video games, software applications, and innumerable other products that were previously sold in stores can now be transferred over the internet. The iTunes Music Store is now the #1 music retailer in the United States.
Downloads have also been blamed for an increase of internet piracy, particularly free music downloads.