Digital music service, eMusic, worked with Insight Research Group to conduct a nationwide survey of online music consumers in the US (ages 18-64). The survey was conducted in August- September 2011 to investigate digital music consumption behaviors when it comes to purchasing, owning and streaming music.
Study results show that purchasing ‘music to own’ remains the primary way to acquire music online. Streaming complements and, in certain circumstances, is the catalyst to ownership.
Music ownership is a relevant, integral part of consumers’ lives and the way they prefer to experience music. 53% of all consumers who purchase music online buy digital music files to own. The security and flexibility that ownership provides is a crucial issue for the majority of consumers.
Streaming ‘music to rent’ does not replace owning music. Consumers use streaming to discover and listen to music to see if they like it before purchasing. Study results also indicate that few are willing to pay to stream; however, consumers readily use the free streaming sites available today. The consumers who do pay to stream are more likely to purchase files online.
Consumers predict that their future behaviors will mirror some of their current behaviors, with more streaming for free and buying to own, instead of paying for streaming sites.
- 91% prefer to own music because it allows them to listen as many times as they want
- 89% prefer to own the music they like, rather than stream it
- 86% feel that ownership gives them security that their files will not disappear
- 76% use streaming to discover music that is new to them, before they decide whether or not to buy
- 74% will stream music for free, but wouldn’t pay to stream
- Only 13% pay to stream music online; 84% of consumers who pay to stream also purchase digital music files
- 79% do not think they will ever give up owning music and just stream it online
- 39% will store digital music files they own in a cloud-digital locker, so that they can listen to them anywhere
- Only 14% will increase their use of paid streaming services
eMusic’s Audience: The ‘Independents’
eMusic has defined its target consumer segment as independent-minded music collectors. Referred to as the ‘Independents,’ the consumers in this segment are the most devoted to purchasing and owning music.
The ‘Independents’ are defined by certain behaviors. Their musical tastes are more offbeat, as opposed to mainstream. They are also more passionate about music overall and are always actively seeking out music that’s new to them. 71% of the ‘Independents’ purchase digital music files online to own.
For each of the general population supporting statistics provided above, the percentages increase for the ‘Independents.’
- 92% prefer to own music because it allows them to listen as many times as they want
- 91% prefer to own the music they like, rather than stream it
- 92% feel that ownership gives them security that their files will not disappear
- 83% use streaming to discover new music before they decide whether or not to buy
- 78% will stream music for free, but wouldn’t pay to stream
- Only 20% pay to stream music online; 88% of the Independents who pay to stream music also purchase digital music files
- 84% do not think they will ever give up owning music and just stream it online
- 42% will store digital music files they own in a cloud-digital locker, so that they can listen to them anywhere
- Only 15% will increase their use of paid streaming services
Insight Research Group conducted this quantitative survey for eMusic during August - September 2011. Respondents were online music buyers nationwide, including eMusic members. Sample size of 1000 male and female respondents between 18-64 years old.
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eMusic is a digital music service for independent-minded music collectors. eMusic Members sign up for a monthly subscription that allows them to discover, download and own music. eMusic also sells downloadable audio books from all major audio book publishers. Headquartered in New York with an office in London, eMusic is available in the U.S., Canada, the E.U., Norway and Switzerland. eMusic.com Inc. is owned by Dimensional Associates, Inc., the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.eMusic.com. NOTE: eMusic and the eMusic logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of eMusic.com Inc. in the U.S. or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.