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Who Tunes Into Digital Music? Women, According to Nielsen

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The Internet in general is often seen as a playground for boys and—well, let’s face it—immature men, and the online music scene is often viewed as the realm of trend-conscious teenagers and young adults. So a new report from media analysis firm Nielsen is something if a surprise: the majority of visitors to music news and music listening sites are apparently women, with adult women aged 35 to 49 representing the largest group of visitors.

According to Nielsen, some 56.1 percent of Web traffic to music sites represented women, amounting to a total of 42.5 million visitors during August 2009. Women aged from 35 to 60 years represented about a third of those visitors, with some 14.5 million women aged 35 to 49 visiting music sites during August.

However, women still seem split between online and physical music sales: 15.6 percent said they had purchased music online in the last six months, while 16 percent said they had bought music offline during the same period. About 8 percent of women claimed to have watched or listened to music online.

Nielsen says that during August, AOL Music, Yahoo Music, and MSN Music were the top three music sites, with AOL Music pulling in 11.8 million unique visitors during the month. Nielsen doesn’t say whether it considers Apple’s iTunes Store—which is the top U.S. music retailer— to be a “music site” for the purpose of this report.

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