Maybe the CD Is Not Dead Yet

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 | 06:00 PM

Interesting discussion, via Hits Magazine on the Compact Disc --  still a multi=-billion dollar business:

CD OR NOT CD: Here’s a shocker: A just-completed survey of American music consumers conducted by Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found that 82% of respondents, or 69% of those under 35, still buy all (62%) or most (20%) of their music on CD, while 15%, or 27% of those under 35, said that half of their purchases now downloads of individual tracks. Some 86% of music buyers said they rely on radio, TV or movies to find out about music (apparently print media wasn’t listed as a choice in the survey), 64% consult family, friends and co-workers, and 51% said online information had no impact whatsoever on their music purchases. Just 22% of those surveyed said their most recent music purchase was done online (including physical CDs as well as downloads), while 74% said the purchase was made at a retail location. Thanks to Digital Media Wire for crunching the numbers. (5/23a)

-Hits Magazine, quoting DMW who summarize the Pew report (below).

Consider the following music/cd factoids --

Music purchasing still generally means buying a CD and buying in a store:

• 82% of music buyers say that all (62%) or most (20%) of the music they buy is CDs.

• 15% say at least half their purchases were individual digital files.

Even for young adult music buyers (defined as those under age 36), music purchasing still is dominated by CDs:

• 69% buy most or all of their music on CDs

• 27% purchasing digital music files at least half the time. 

• 74% of music buyers say their most recent purchase was at a store, while 22% said it
was done online (either ordering a CD or a paid download).

Once people buy music, they are most likely to cite an offline means as a way that they
share the experience:

• 77% of music buyers say they talk about a music purchase with family or friends.

Various media resources also play key roles in how people engage with music after they buy it:

• 56% of music buyers say they watch a music video of the song or artist, some of which may be online videos.

• 44% of music buyers transfer the music to a CD, computer, or MP3 player. 

• 44% of music buyers have done at least one online activity relating to their music purchase, such as going to an artist’s or band’s website or reading blogs about the artist or band.

Internet-using music buyers use the internet post-purchase to connect directly with artists.

• 39% go to the artist’s or band’s website.

• 28% look online for live performances by the artist.

• 13% either post their music to a social networking site such as Facebook or post their
own reviews of the music they purchase.

Thanks, Gene.


The Internet and Consumer Choice
18 May 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 | 06:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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I would be very surprised if the record industry is actually concerned about actual CD sales. They're worried about distribution and marketing. It's not CDs vs. MP3s, it's indie self-distribution vs. record companies. It's the Long Tail of music vs. top 40. It's about self-production vs. professional production. It's about blogs&myspace vs. the radio&MTV.

Look at the ways in which music become popular, not CD sales. When distribution and production are free, and marketing is near-free, what do we need record companies for? The record companies have realized that the tastemakers have ditched them, and in an industry entirely built on hype and popularity, that's a big blow.

Posted by: haileris | May 26, 2008 7:07:57 PM

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