Survey: MP3 Users Actually Buy More Music
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Despite criticism that MP3 and related software is hurting the music industry (can you say "cease and desist?"), a recent survey of 40,000 U.S. households found that MP3 users are purchasing three more CDs on average in a six-month period than non-MP3 users.
The survey was made in February by Internet research and consulting firm Gartner Group Inc. Yesterday, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction at the request of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which sued Napster in December for copyright infringement.
"It's very clear that the segment of consumers that is purchasing significantly more CDs is also more receptive to digital distribution," said Sujata Ramnarayan, senior analyst for Gartner's e-Business Services Group.
"Instead of working against MP3, it's time that the RIAA and record labels start making MP3 work for them to sustain, nurture and grow what appears to be MP3's positive correlation with music sales."
A significantly greater number of MP3 users are using the Internet both to purchase music CDs and to get product information, the survey found 30 percent compared to 8 percent of the general population.
MP3 users are still making in-store purchases --in fact, 62 percent compared to 50 percent of the general population, the survey found. However, their mail order/phone purchases are lower compared to the general population -- 19 percent compared to 21 percent.
Ramnarayan said it is possible the convenience of getting music online is exposing consumers to a greater variety of music that they can try before buying.
"The fact that a greater percentage of MP3 users are still making in-store purchases or purchasing online would suggest immediate gratification is a reason for greater incidence of purchase," Ramnarayan said.