If you look at how people are getting their music these days you see that the companies fighting for the people who pay for music are battling over an ever-smaller piece of the pie.
NPD Market Research’s annual survey of Internet users, which is some 80 percent of the population these days, found that 10 percent of the music they acquired last year came from paid downloads. That is a big increase from 7 percent in 2006. But since the number of physical CDs they bought plummeted, the overall share of music they paid for fell to 42 percent from 48 percent.
Most people are getting music from their friends — either burning CDs or ripping digital files. And despite the record industry’s crackdown, there is no reduction in the number of people of peer-to-peer file sharing service.
“The number of people who do peer to peer in 2007 versus 2006 has been stable,” said Russ Crupnick, who runs NPD’s music service. “The number of files taken per users has increased significantly.” This is because of the shift of many users from Limewire to BitTorrent, which makes it easier to download whole albums.
Quite surprising is the continued strength of AM/FM radio. People listen to music on the radio more times per week than any other method. Listening to music on a computer has the third largest number of people, followed by listening on a portable device like an iPod.
The music labels will look at this data and say, “If we just stick with the CD and the Apple model we are in deeper trouble,” Mr. Crupnick said. Yes indeed.
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