More Than One in Five Surfers Download Music

Nielsen//NetRatings reports that rap music is the most popular genre purchased by Internet users downloading music. According to the latest data from the Nielsen//NetRatings @Plan service, online music enthusiasts were 111% more likely to purchase rap music than the average Internet user over the past three months.

Dance and club music held the second spot, with downloaders 106 percent more likely to have purchased dance and club music than the average Internet surfer and 77% more likely to purchase alternative rock. R&B/soul music and rock rounded out the top five.

Nielsen//NetRatings reports that nearly 31 million active Internet users, or 22% of the active Internet population ages 18 years old and up, downloaded music in the past 30 days and 71% of this audience purchased music in the past three months.

"Recording industry executives are devoted to finding a successful business model for selling music online," said Greg Bloom, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "The de facto standard may be a few years away but understanding the genres of music that sell well online and offline will be crucial to generating revenue along the way."

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, online surfers in Los Angeles have the highest propensity for downloading music as compared to Internet users in other cities across the country. L.A. surfers are 23 percent more likely to have downloaded music in the last 30 days than the average Internet user. New York and Dallas-Ft. Worth followed as the second and third highest ranked cities. Boston and Houston rounded out the top five regions where music/MP3 downloading occurs.

"The cities in the top five, like LA and NY, are not only epicenters for music development in the country but are some of the most wired cities in the nation," added Bloom.

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