More than half of almost 2,000 Net-savvy Americans ages 15 to 35 say they plan to purchase a digital music device over the next year, according to a new study conducted by Harris Interactive for Sony Electronics. This is a marked increase from the approximate 21 percent of the U.S. population ages 15 to 35 with Internet access that currently owns at least one digital portable audio product.
“Your Musical Taste,” conducted by Harris Interactive, surveyed almost 2,000 men and women to determine how they use the Internet to download music. It also evaluated the use of Internet portable audio devices including MiniDisc® players, MP3 players, CDR-RW players, Memory Stick® Walkman® recorders and other flash media players, to transfer and listen to digital music.
Major findings determined:
Sixty-four percent of the online population aged 15 to 35 know how to “rip” play lists from their CD’s and of those, 60 percent do it up to three times each month;
The enjoyment of downloading comes from being able to customize music collections (83 percent), the ability to choose from a large selection of songs (76 percent) and its simplicity (61percent);
“The study shows us that consumers want to enjoy customized music mixes anytime, anywhere,” said Robert Ashcroft, senior vice president of Sony Electronics’ Personal and Mobile Products Division. “Music lovers have figured out how to download digital music and customize their collections on the PC and now they are looking to transfer those collections to a portable device.”
With 21 percent of online consumers currently owning at least one such device and 54 percent planning to buy one by the end of 2003, knowledge on how to transfer music to portable devices and the demand for music on the go will steadily increase, positively affecting the market for these products.
“Downloadable music is becoming increasingly popular among the online U.S. population, with 78 percent of the respondents knowing how to download music from the Internet, and a third (32 percent) of those downloading music approximately once a month,” Ashcroft said. “On the other hand, awareness levels on how to best use this music are still low. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed are still unfamiliar with the process of transferring music from a PC to a portable device—with about half still using their PCs to listen to digital music.”
“With digital portable audio products such as Net MD Walkman recorders and CD Walkman players with CD-R/RW/MP3 playback, Sony is in a unique position to offer consumers the right experience for enjoying their music without being tied to the PC.” Ashcroft said. “As the use of portable devices becomes more mainstream, so will the practice of transferring music from a PC to a MiniDisc player, Memory Stick Walkman player, MP3 Player or other flash media players.”
Results indicate the online savvy audience is aware of portable audio technology, but simply don’t know how to use it.
“The majority of online consumers seem to be unaware of the benefits associated with portability—convenience, accessibility and affordability— and so the `ripping,’ or CD burning trend continues,” Ashcroft said. “Our goal is to show these consumers how easy it is to transfer their music from the PC to a device such as a Net MD player.”
“Consumers that currently listen to their digital music on the PC or via CDs they have burned are next to realize the benefits of downloading their favorite playlists to a NetMD™ Walkman® player and taking it out on the streets—and we project this trend to be increasingly apparent in 2003,” Ashcroft added. “Next year, digital music will truly be wherever, whenever.”
The survey collected 1,960 interviews from June 12 to June 17, among U.S. residents ages 15 to 35. The data was weighted to reflect the U.S. online populations aged 15 to 35, with a margin of error plus/minus 2.2 percent.