Digital Music: Everybody's Doing It! Over Half Of The World's Young Adult Internet Users Have Downloaded Music

Even Boomers getting in on the act - Ipsos-Reid global study

Digital Music: Everybody's Doing It! Over Half Of The World's Young Adult Internet Users Have Downloaded Music

Minneapolis, May 29, 2001 - While legal issues surrounding the downloading of music from the Internet continue to make headlines, song-seekers throughout the world are forging ahead with their online activities.

Just over half (51%) of Internet users aged 18 to 34 in 30 countries around the globe have downloaded music files from the Internet, reveals international research firm Ipsos-Reid.

College-aged adults have been the quickest to embrace this new method of acquiring music. Some 61% of Internet users aged 18 to 24 said they had downloaded music by the end of last year, compared to 53% a year earlier. Young males in this age group are the most enthusiastic users of this new method of sampling music (70% of male Internet Users, compared to 48% of females).

"Young adults, with their voracious appetites for music and computer know-how, have embraced online music," said Matt Kleinschmit, Senior Research Manager for Ipsos-Reid. "For this demographic, sampling and obtaining music is just another activity facilitated by a computer, similar to staying in touch with friends via email, organizing personal addresses, and reading newspapers and magazines."

Young Canadian and Taiwanese Internet users are leading the global pack, with three-quarters of those aged 18 to 24 indicating that they have downloaded music files from the Internet (76% each). Many other countries are right on their heels, however, with over 70 % of college-aged Internet users in Hong Kong, Sweden, South Korea, and the United States having downloaded music.

Among the music downloaders, over one in three young adults (35% of those under age 35) report that they have downloaded music files once a week or more often over the past 30 days. Meanwhile, over one in five of the 35 to 55 year old Baby Boomer downloaders have been at it once a week or more in the past 30 days.

"We really are witnessing the dawn of the global music bazaar," Kleinschmit added. "Young music enthusiasts who may have had difficulty obtaining music in the past due to a poor distribution infrastructure or governmental import controls are now going online to get the music they crave, and also discover new music."

Still, it's not just young adults who are doing it. Boomers are also getting in on the act. Nearly one-third (29 %) of Internet users aged 35 to 54 have downloaded music. And 16% of Internet users over age 55 have done so as well. When you add it all up, 38% of all Internet users have tried downloading music, the study found.

"Media coverage of this issue has sparked the curiosity of a small but still significant number of Boomers and older adults who have begun to dabble in downloading," Kleinschmit said. "Clearly this is not just a young, North American fad."


Data on downloading of music and MP3 files from the Internet is gathered from The Face of the Web II: 2000- 2001, an Ipsos-Reid research study examining global Internet usage among Internet users ages 18 and older in 30 countries around the world.

In total, 7,688 Internet users were interviewed around the world in December of 2000, with all samples nationally representative, except in Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa, where coverage was limited to urban areas only. The margin of error for a sample size of 7,688 is +/- 1.12%. National samples averaged 200 respondents per country, yielding a margin of error of +/- 6.93%.

More in-depth research involving online music distribution can be found in another Ipsos-Reid study titled, TEMPO "In-Depth U.S. Tracking" which will field in the summer of 2001. . This study will closely examine online payment models, including subscription and download preferences, as well as purchase activity in the online music sector, and the use of portable devices among U.S. consumers. To read more about this upcoming study, please visit:

About Ipsos-Reid

Ipsos-Reid has been tracking public opinion around the world for more than 20 years and has become a leading provider of global public opinion and market research to private, public and not for profit organizations in over 50 countries. With more than 1,300 staff in 11 cities, Ipsos-Reid offers clients a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus and online research products and services. It is best known for its line of Express opinion polls, the World Monitor public affairs journal, and The Face of the Web, the most comprehensive study of global Internet usage and trends. It is a member of Paris-based Ipsos Group, ranked among the top ten research groups in the world.

For more information, please contact: Matt Kleinschmit Senior Research Manager 612.573.8500

169 2001 Ipsos - Reid Worldwide. All Rights Reserved.

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