One out of four Americans have downloaded mp3's, says new study
Music Industry News - as it happens
Source: Mi2N - February 10, 2002
Fifty million people, or almost one-quarter (23%) of the American population
aged 12 and over, have downloaded a music or mp3 file from of the Net, say
findings from a new study examining the influence and effects of online
music distribution around the world. By comparison, Napster claimed to have
around 40 million users in its heyday, says research firm Ipsos-Reid which
conducted the study last November and December. Similar proportions of
Americans report having listened to Internet radio (27%) and streamed audio
(21%), and over one-third (37%) indicate they have listened to a
pre-recorded music CD that was playing in the CD-ROM drive of their PC,
Ipsos-Reid found in Tempo: Keeping Pace with Online Music Distribution.
The firm went on that young Americans continue to lead this Internet music
phenomenon, as approximately two-fifths of 12-24-year-olds have downloaded
music or MP3 files off of the Internet (44% of 12-17 year-olds, and 42% in
the 18-24 age group).
Among adults aged 25-34, one-third (35%) have also downloaded music,
demonstrating that older age groups are beginning to dabble in the new
digital music arena as well. Not only are these individuals trying out music
downloading capabilities, they are returning for more, says Ipsos-Reid.
Three-fifths of (59%) of Americans who have downloaded a music or MP3 file
in the past indicated that they are somewhat, very, or extremely likely to
download again in the next 30 days.
In addition, the research shows that females are rapidly increasing their
presence in the online music community and have narrowed the long-standing
Internet gender gap. This is especially evident among teenage females, aged
12-17, as nearly half (48%) report that they have downloaded music online.
"For many, music is becoming more and more of a PC-centric activity", said
Matt Kleinschmit, senior research manager for Ipsos-Reid in Minneapolis and
the study's author. "While various issues continue to limit widespread
legitimate online music distribution, we can see that Americans are
downloading music, listening to Internet radio and streamed song clips, and
playing pre-recorded CDs all from the same appliance. In a way, the PC has
become a personal jukebox for many downloaders, an almost unlimited and
constantly changing source of music, new and old. If legal developments
allow more Americans to appreciate the ease and convenience of digital
music, this trend will likely accelerate, possibly in ways not yet
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