Apple seems set to benefit from skyrocketing demand for digital music players, multiple reports imply.

Indeed, demand is so high it appears possible that the "critical mass needed for online music services to thrive" may be close to being met, according to Reuters.

Researchers at In-Stat recently forecast that the music player market "will reach more than 104 million units worldwide by 2009", Reuters explains. Growth is driven by colossal demand in the US, but the model is being emulated across territories.

The report also observes that Apple is faring well in its battle with pirate peer-to-peer services. iTunes has become the second most-used digital music service, including peer-to-peer services, the analysts said. iTunes is as widely used in the US now as LimeWire, the report adds.

Warner Music saw digital sales account for 4.5 per cent of revenues, and this pattern has been confirmed by contacts at other labels.