(Fwd) A CD burning nation
Tom at Abacurial.com
Fri Apr 26 02:31:20 EDT 2002
This is the reason the music companies are worried.
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Date sent: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 18:00:00 -0500
Subject: A CD burning nation
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Today's focus: A CD burning nation
Dear Tom trottier,
In this issue:
* Study reports of growing trend for music downloads
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Today's focus: A CD burning nation
By Ann Harrison
According to a study released recently by the San Francisco
market research firm, Odyssey, 40 million U.S. consumers have
downloaded or transferred music online in the past six month.
That equates to 31% of everybody online over the age of 16.
Odyssey says those responding to the study reported an average
of 11 downloads or file transfers per week. The survey polled
3,000 consumers and is a representative sample of the U.S.
population 16 years and older.
The study states that swapping digital music files "appears to
have become a mainstream activity." Right, what's remarkable is
that the researchers seemed to be previously unaware of this
The study goes on to note that 53% of online users under 30
said they have transferred or downloaded music in the past six
months. Twenty percent of online users over 30 and 14% of those
over 45 said they also have swapped music in the past six
months. Odyssey concludes that these figures indicate that file
swapping "is not something that this large base of young
consumers is likely to outgrow over time."
This trend is likely to continue to increase with the recent
marketing of a CD burner-equipped computer from Gateway (see
last issue). Odyssey points out that 23% of U.S. households
have the ability to copy songs to a blank CD, up from 16% in
An industry trade group is planning to release sales figures
that will show a 10% drop in music unit sales from year to
year, which they say is the worst such drop in history. The
Recording Industry Association of America also recently
reported music unit shipments in the U.S. were down 10% from
2000 to 2001.
While the Odyssey study concluded that the availability of
digital music "appears to be playing a major role" in the drop
in sales of recorded music, there are other factors at work.
Chief among those is the inflated price of CDs and the
lackluster lineup of new recording artists much commented on
during this season's music awards.
In a statement, Nick Donatiello, president and CEO of Odyssey
said: "The industry has taken so long to respond that an
entirely new set of expectations has been created. Now record
labels will have to climb walls that they are allowing to be
The study concludes that MusicNet and Pressplay music services
offered by the record companies do not meet the needs of
consumers who want to be able to create their own play lists
and burn the music to a portable format. The authors of the
study noted that digital technology gives users more choice and
control over their music. Attempting to deny consumers what
they want by imposing restrictive technology will be even more
damaging for the music industry, which is already being
abandoned by their customers.
To contact Ann Harrison:
Ann Harrison is a technology reporter in San Francisco. She can
be reached at mailto:ah at well.com.
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