Monday, August 2, 2010

Interesting July Music Stats

Digital music information and strategy company Music Alley puts together an interesting monthly report called NumberCrunch that includes some interesting statistics culled from information sources like NPD, Forrester and Neilsen/Soundscan. Here are a few points that I found interesting (my comments in italics).
  • In the first half of 2010, digital album sales grew by 12.7% to 42.2 million units. If the album was supposed to be a dying format, why does it have a healthy growth of almost 13%?
  • Digital albums now account for 27.4% of all US album sales. That means that the market for albums is still about 160 million, of which about 120 million are still CDs. The CD may be dying, but there's still plenty of sales life left in it according to these numbers.
  • According to media analyst NPD, 7 to 8 million iTunes users in the US would be interested in paying at least $10 a month for cloud-based iTunes services to access their music libraries across multiple platforms. You can bet that Apple will be rolling this out by the end of the year or beginning of next, since they already have the infrastructure in place.
  • 13 to 15 million iTunes users would be interested if the service was free. Doubtful that will happen though, unless the service can be monetized in some other way. 
  • Analyst Russ Crupnick claims that the potential market for a paid subscription-based iTunes would be $1 billion in it's first year alone, which is about 2/3rds of what its present pay-per-download model. This is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Almost everyone believes that if Apple pulls the subscription trigger, subscription will become accepted by the consumer almost overnight. But when will it happen? Probably not until well after their cloud service comes into being.
  • Home computers accounted for 41.6% of digital music consumption in Q3 of 2009, followed by MP3 players at 32/5%, mobile phones by 12.1% and home streaming devices by 11.1%. That must mean that most people consume most of their music at work.
  • Only 23% of people said they listened to music on both their computer and MP3 player, 9% on computer and mobile phone, and 5% on all four platforms. This could be a bad sign for a cloud-based service, as most people won't have any use for it.
  • 63% of the people listening to music on their phones are 18 to 24 years old. Is this figure really any surprise to anyone?
I think the most interesting thing about these figures is that the conclusions have been holding steady for quite some time now. Let's see what next month brings.

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