Research: Why are music sales falling? DOWNLOADING (ahem)

By Jon Newton 6/20/03

Anti-piracy campaigns waged by the RIAA and the labels are starting to change the hearts and minds of consumers when it comes to file-sharing, says a new music industry inspired report.

Jayne Charneski, vp of Edison Media Research whose national survey of 12 to 44 year olds conducted for the trade pub Radio & Records' R&R Convention 2003 (scheduled for next week) states:

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"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. The data suggest that in particular it is the heaviest downloaders who have having the most negative influence on sales." 

By an amazing coincidence, her company's report comes on the heels of others which seriously question music industry statements that suggest dl-ing actually helps, rather than hurts, sales.

"While some people do indeed say that they have learned about music and gone on to buy CD's because of downloading, the gains are more than negated by lost sales due to people downloading music or burning (making digital copies of CDs), says Edison, going on: 

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

"I think we are seeing some evidence that the There is a growing group of consumers who want to pay for their downloads," says Charneski unblushingly. 

Other findings include: 

Surveyors interviewed 1003 people aged 12+ by telephone from a national sample (continental US) between May 8 and May 18, 2003.

Comments or thoughts?


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Jon Newton is the editor of and is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Jon's site is devoted to the politics of digital music and his insights as well as those of his co-writers can be read there. We urge you to explore it.

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