Music Downloading Goes Global

Nearly Half of Young Internet Users Have Downloaded Music - Ipsos-Reid Study

Music Downloading Goes Global

Minneapolis, December 8, 2000 - Amid all of the controversy surrounding music file-sharing on the Internet, nearly half of online youth around the world have downloaded music off the Internet, according to a new study from the global research firm, Ipsos-Reid. Among teens and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 who have used the Internet in the past 30 days, 47% report having downloaded a music or MP3 file, Ipsos-Reid found in its 16-country study.

Young males appear to be driving this surge, as 55% of those ages 12 to 17 report having downloaded music files off of the Internet, compared to 41% of females in that same age group.

And once they download a music file, nearly all youth Internet users indicate they plan to come back for more online music. In fact, 90% of youth who have downloaded a music file in the past, and just under half (48%) of those who had not previously downloaded music, indicated they would be somewhat or very likely to download again in the next 12 months.

Studies predict that by 2005, one-quarter of the entire music market will be online, generating revenues of more than $5 billion. An earlier Ipsos-Reid study, meanwhile, also found that Baby Boomers share the same passion for music downloading. [read more]

"Today's youth - with lots of time but little money - are becoming increasingly accustomed to digital distribution channels as a means for both listening to and purchasing music," said Matt Kleinschmit, a Senior Research Manager for Ipsos-Reid involved with the study. "But the real story, and the huge potential impact on the digital music industry, is what happens when this massive group gets older, earns income and starts flexing its new found buying power. Based on early adoption rates, comfort with technology and their stated future intentions, you have all the ingredients for a revolution in music listening and buying."

A growing global phenomenon And the rest of the world is joining college-aged Americans in the music downloading phenomenon. Globally, online Canadian and Swedish youth are leading the pack, with roughly two-thirds indicating they have downloaded music off of the Internet (66% and 64%, respectively). Furthermore, over half of youth Internet Users in Taiwan, the United States, Italy, Netherlands, South Korea, and Urban Mexico all report having downloaded their favorite music from the Internet.

"Internet users in countries that lack traditional channels of distribution are beginning to take advantage of the amazing power of the Internet as method of obtaining music," Kleinschmit added. "This is reflected in the findings that South Korean, Urban Chinese, and Italian youth Internet users are most likely to download music in the next twelve months among all countries surveyed. And in many of these countries, this will no doubt further increase as Internet connections quicken and 3G (third generation) wireless technologies take hold."

Methodology Data on youth downloading of music and MP3 files off of the Internet is gathered from TEMPO: Keeping Pace with the Future of Music Distribution, an Ipsos-Reid syndicated research study examining online music distribution among Internet users ages 12 to 24 in 16 countries around the world.

In total, 5,053 Internet users were interviewed around the world in June, with all samples nationally representative, except in Brazil, China, and Mexico, where coverage was limited to urban areas only. The margin of error for a sample size of 5,053 is +/- 1.38%. National samples averaged 300 respondents per country, yielding a margin of error of +/- 5.66%.

Phase two of TEMPO, "In-Depth U.S. Tracking" is currently under development, and will field immediately following the 2000 holiday season. This study will closely examine payment models, including subscription and download preferences, as well as purchase activity in the online music sector among U.S. consumers.

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

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