Consumers Sample New Music Digitally

The latest installment of Ipsos Insight‘s report Tempo: Keeping Pace with Digital Music Behavior finds that consumers still have a strong preference for purchasing traditional audio CDs of music from favorite artists; however, instead of buying CDs of new music or unknown artists on a whim, consumers are increasingly likely to sample tracks from new and unknown artists via digital download services. In part, this behavior has contributed to a declined in CD sales: Ipsos finds that the number of consumers who have purchased an audio CD in the last six months has declined about 15 percent since 2002, and over 20 percent since the year 2000.

“The number of digital music acquisition options, including on-demand downloading and easy unfettered copying, have slowly eaten away at consumer impulse music purchases,” said Matt Kleinschmit, Vice President of Ipsos Insight and author of the TEMPO program, “thus creating a gap in revenue. Where in the past someone may have purchased a CD from a new or unfamiliar artist on a whim, they are increasingly more likely to digitally sample the music before deciding to make a full physical CD purchase.”

The latest update to the Ipsos report finds that 51 percent of U.S. consumers aged 12 and over purchased a physical CD in the last six months. On average, consumers purchased 2.8 CDs in the last six months, with the average consumer owning 78 CDs. Consumers aged 18 to 54 are likely to have larger CD collections (over 100 discs) while teens own fewer (an average of 32).

When it comes to new releases from favorite artists, traditional CDs remain the preferred medium, with 62 percent of “U.S. downloaders” buying a physical CD of their favorite artists’ latest release, compared to just 28 percent who paid to download one or more tracks from that release. Not surprisingly, folks who bought both a CD and digital downloads were more likely to have purchase a la carte downloads before buying the CD (45 percent) rather than after buying the CD (27 percent). However, then it comes to buying music from new or unknown artists, 23 percent of U.S. downloaders tend to sample via a la carte digital tracks (23 percent) rather than by buying a full-length CD (17 percent).

Ipsos also finds that while the number of people engaged in buying music via download services, subscription services, ringtones, and satellite services is increasing, the amount of revenue they generate is small in comparison to the sales of physical CDs. Where downloaders spent an average of $14 on CDs, they would spend just $3.60 on digital tracks, $4.80 on mobile tracks, $4.90 on ringtones, and $5.30 on ringbacks. Digital copies of albums averaged $10, and even consumers who tapped into more than one sales channel still spent an average of just $10.90.

“Downloading alone cannot fill the dollars lost by the ‘Impulse Gap’ in CD sales,” continued Kleinschmit. “Other new and innovative music products must also help to fill this void. Most notably, mobile offerings—ringtones, ringbacks and full-song over-the-air downloads—have shown particular promise among youth, a market segment who rapidly embraced file sharing, but is also highly impulsive in their music purchase habits.”

Emerging Tech

Astronomers plan to beam Earth’s greatest hits into deep space, and you can help

A new project from the SETI Institute (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will give the public the chance to submit compositions to be beamed into space, with the aim of connecting people around the world through music.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.
Home Theater

Pandora now lets you mess with the secret sauce for its music playlists

Pandora introduced a new feature called Modes, allowing subscribers to pick between six different algorithms that determine what the popular music streaming service will decide to play.

The best new music this week: Karen O with Danger Mouse, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week, we have new music from Karen O with Danger Mouse, Snarky Puppy, Stephen Malkmus, and Zacari.
Smart Home

Protect yourself: Here are some of the best home security systems

Looking for the best home security systems for your house? These systems offer the best mix of devices, smart features, monitoring services, and fees that you can afford (plus good customer service reports).
Smart Home

Postmates now offers a way to get free delivery on meal orders

Postmates is offering customers the chance to order meals with free delivery. But you'll have to be cool with the idea of waiting a little longer, as the delivery driver will be carrying other meals for different customers.
Smart Home

Instant Pot has another winner with its Accu Slim sous vide

We all know that Instant Pots are the bomb, but did you know that Instant Pot has a sous vide immersion circulator too? The Accu Slim lets you cook sous vide recipes at home. How does it perform? We tested the device to find out.
Smart Home

Looking to safeguard your home? These are the best DIY home security systems

Looking for the best DIY Home security systems? These security kits will help you feel safer in no time. Check out our top pick and full list to see which kit will work best for your home.

Air purifiers get steep price cuts on Amazon just in time for allergy season

Spring kicks off allergy season, and Amazon has cut prices on three highly rated air purifiers to bring relief. Allergens and contaminants in the air can have long-term consequences, says the EPA, so proactive steps can help today and later…

Walmart slashes prices on iRobot Roomba and Shark Ion robot vacuums

Walmart slashed prices of top robot vacuums from iRobot, Shark, Eufy, and Ecovacs just in time for spring cleaning season.  With a robot vacuum on the job you can retire that old upright and let a robot vacuum take over floor-cleaning…

Amazon slices prices in half for AeroGardens smart indoor garden, today only

AeroGardens can grow up to six plants at one time. The plants grow in water, not soil, so you never have the mess of outdoor gardening in your clean home. This method allows the plants to grow five times faster than if they were planted in…

LG’s SnowWhite is a Keurig for lovers of homemade ice cream

LG's SnowWhite conceptual countertop appliance, on display at this year's South by Southwest, is like a Keurig machine for ice cream lovers that produces your favorite frozen desserts from nothing but a little pod.

Amazon shaves $50 off the Coway Mighty air purifier ahead of allergy season

When it's allergy season, a good air purifier is a must-have for sufferers. The Coway Mighty air purifier (now on sale from Amazon) is one of the best, greatly improving the air quality inside your home by removing dust, dander, pollen, and…
Smart Home

Dyson’s newest products strive to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit

Dyson launched products to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit. A Dyson intelligent task light cycles with nature and a personal air purifier harnesses unique airflow. Microprocessors in Dyson's vacuum self-adjust 8,000 times a second.