At this years R&R Convention 2003, trade publication Radio & Records and Edison Media Research unveiled the results of a national survey of 12 to 44 year olds showing that the illegal downloading of music is hurting music sales. (Click ‘Read more’ for the complete press release.)

“Among the heaviest downloaders, those who have downloaded more than
100 music files (about 16% of 12-44s), reported purchases of CDs has dropped an incredible 61% from last year’s study (28.9 CDs, on average per person, purchased last year compared with 11.3 CDs purchased this year). […]

71% of heavy downloaders say that “Instead of buying a CD they have burnt someone else’s copy of a CD,” and 48% of them say ‘They no longer have to buy CDs because they could download music for free over the Internet.’”

Press release:

Why Are Music Sales Falling? DOWNLOADING

LOS ANGELES, June 17 /PRNewswire/—While there are a variety of reasons contributing to the downturn in music sales, the twin problems of downloading and burning are clearly the most potent ones, according to a recent national survey of 12 to 44 year olds conducted by Edison Media Research for the trade publication Radio & Records. The data suggest that, in particular, the heaviest downloaders have the most negative influence on sales.

“Our study should put to rest the notion argued by some surveys that say downloading actually helps sell records,” says Jayne Charneski, Vice President of Edison Media Research. “While some people do indeed say that they have learned about music and gone on to buy CDs because of downloading, the gains are more than negated by lost sales due to people downloading music or burning (making digital copies of CDs).”

Some of the interesting behavioral trends to emerge from this study include:

  *  Among the heaviest downloaders, those who have downloaded more than
    100 music files (about 16% of 12-44s), reported purchases of CDs has
    dropped an incredible 61% from last year’s study (28.9 CDs, on average
    per person, purchased last year compared with 11.3 CDs purchased this
    year).

    “Today’s heavy downloader tends to be the same person the record
    industry has relied on in the past to be the heavy purchaser.  These
    days, many in this group are increasingly downloading from
    file-sharing sites and burning music instead of buying music,” says
    Charneski.

  *  71% of heavy downloaders say that “Instead of buying a CD they have
    burnt someone else’s copy of a CD,” and 48% of them say “They no
    longer have to buy CDs because they could download music for free over
    the Internet.”

  *  More teens than ever are burning instead of buying—61% of
    12-17-year-olds have burned someone else’s copy of a CD instead of
    buying their own copy, a 13% increase in one year.

Not all of the results bode poorly for the record industry, however. Some of interesting attitudinal trends to emerge from this study include:

  *  14% of those who download told us they won’t download music for free
    because they feel artists and record labels should be compensated.
    This is a tremendous increase from 2002 when only 5% of downloaders
    felt this way.

  *  The number of Americans who believe downloading music files for free
    from the Internet is “morally wrong” has increased 28% in one year.
    As of May 2003, some 50% of Americans between the ages of 12 and 44
    believe downloading music for free from the Internet is morally wrong,
    up from just 39% in 2002.

    “I think we are seeing some evidence that the anti-piracy campaigns
    waged by the RIAA and the record labels are starting to change the
    hearts and minds of consumers when it comes to file-sharing services.
    There is a growing group of consumers who want to pay for their
    downloads,” explains Charneski.  “Meanwhile, Apple’s I-Tunes came
    along and raised the bar in the online music store space.  I-Tunes is
    easy to use and Apple’s name gives paying for downloads an element of
    cool.  All this is great news for the record industry.”

  Other findings include:

  *  12 to 24s buy into the media’s “bling bling” portrayal of the music
    industry.  Half believe that all recording artists and record label
    employees are rich, live in big houses, and drive expensive cars!

  *  12 to 17s: the Hip-Hop Generation.  When asked on an unaided basis to
    name their favorite musical artists of all time, three Hip-Hop artists
    occupied the top slots—#1 Tupac, #2 Eminem, #3 50 Cent.

  *  Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” ranks as the top favorite song
    among 12 to 44s.  Garth Brook’s “The Dance” holds the #2 spot.

  *  Videogames sell music—8% of 12 to 17s and 10% of 18 to 24s said
    hearing a song featured in a videogame was influential in purchasing
    the last music CD they bought for themselves.

  *  Consumers in the demos the record industry traditionally relies on for
    the bulk of new music sales (12 to 24s) still believe the industry is
    producing quality product and the vast majority (74%) are as
    passionate about music these days as they used to be.

  *  36% of persons 18+ believe there is more programming variety on local
    radio stations today compared to 5 years ago.  Another 46% believe
    there is the same amount of variety on local radio today compared to
    5 years ago.

  *  33% of downloaders said they would disable their file sharing software
    if they received a pop-up message warning they are at risk for legal
    penalties for downloading music from file-sharing services.

These findings highlight a comprehensive survey about music purchasing and behavior conducted by Edison for R&R Convention 2003, being held this week at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The survey’s results will be presented Thursday, June 19, at 11:00 a.m. in a session titled “The National Record Buyers Study III.”

This national survey interviewed 1003 persons age 12+. It was conducted by telephone from a national sample (continental U.S.) between May 8 and May 18, 2003. For a sample of this size, the sample error is + 3%.

About Edison Media Research

Edison Media Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to radio stations, television stations, newspapers, cable networks, record labels, Internet companies and other media organizations. Edison Media Research is the fastest-growing market research company in America over the past five years, according to Advertising Age. Edison Media Research works with many of the largest radio ownership groups and also conducts strategic and perceptual research for a broad array of companies, including AOL, Yahoo!, CBS, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, Court TV, Island Records, Maverick Records, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic, Princeton University, Sony Music, the Blackstone Group and Time-Life Music. Edison Media Research also conducts research for successful radio stations in South America, Canada and Europe and performs research throughout the Arabic- speaking world for the U.S. government’s Radio Sawa service. For more information about Edison Media Research, contact Jayne Charneski, Edison Media Research, 6 West Cliff Street, Somerville, NJ 08876; telephone 908-707-4707 or visit www.edisonresearch.com .

About Radio & Records

Radio & Records was founded in 1973 to provide credible news and information to the commercial radio broadcast and recording industries. R&R produces 32 daily and weekly publications in printed, faxed, e-mail and online formats. R&R produces music charts based on the weekly airplay activity of 1,000 U.S. commercial radio stations, as provided by Mediabase 24/7. This information is used by radio programmers around the world and is the basis of syndicated countdown shows including American Top 40 With Casey Kasem. R&R also stages three annual major industry conventions: the R&R Convention, the R&R Talk Radio Seminar and the R&R Triple A Summit. R&R operates offices in Los Angeles, Nashville and Washington, DC. Erica Farber is Publisher/CEO of the company. Its website is at www.radioandrecords.com .

About the R&R Convention

The R&R Convention is the radio and record industries’ largest combined gathering of radio professionals, recording-industry executives and recording artists. Held annually, the convention features a mix of keynote speakers, panels, workshops and evening entertainment. It is also where the R&R Industry Achievement Awards are announced each year. R&R Convention 2003 will be held at Merv Griffin’s Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. For details and registration, go to www.radioandrecords.com .

For further information, please contact: Jayne Charneski of Edison Media Research, +1-908-707-4707, or Ron Rodrigues of Radio & Records, +1-310-788-1646.

Source: Radio & Records

CONTACT: Jayne Charneski of Edison Media Research, +1-908-707-4707, or Ron Rodrigues of Radio & Records, +1-310-788-1646.

Web site: http://www.edisonresearch.com/

Web site: http://www.radioandrecords.com/