Streaming Provides Preview For Music Buy


Consumers may like listening to music online through streamed services, but they still cherish they idea of owning the music they love.

According to a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted by Insight Research Group (along with digital music service eMusic), more than half (53%) of those who purchase music online also buy digital music files to own. The survey found that consumers like to use streaming services to discover and listen to new music before they purchase it.

Among general music buyers (as opposed to hardcore music enthusiasts the survey deemed "The Independents"), 91% said they prefer to own music because it allows them to listen to the songs as many times as they want and have control over when listening to what they want when they want. Similarly, 86% said owning music gives them a sense of security that the files will not disappear, says Brad Soroca, chief marketing officer of eMusic. Among the hard-core "independents," the numbers are slightly -- but not markedly -- higher. (Ninety-two percent prefer owning music, while 92% said owning gives them more security).

"There's some inherent value in streaming," he tells Marketing Daily. "It's about discovering new music they want to own. [But] they care about music so much, they want to own it."

Among those general consumers, only 13% said they would pay to stream music online. At the same time, 84% of those who would pay to stream music would also purchase digital files. Among the Independents, 20% pay to stream music, and 88% continue to buy digital music files, Soroca says.

Moving forward, consumers also do not believe they will be changing their behaviors anytime soon. Among the general population, nearly 80% said they will not give up owning music and will only stream online. Nearly 40% said they would store their files in a cloud storage system so they can listen anywhere, and only 14% will increase their use of paid streaming services. Among the Independents, 84% said they did not envision giving up music and only 15% will increase their use of paid streaming services.

"As we looked at their future behaviors, I think it all comes back to the key points of flexibility and control, security [of preserving one's music] and a connection to the artists," he says.

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