This morning we issued a press release revealing some highlights of our latest European Music Consumer survey report (the complete findings of which are available here to Jupiter clients).
We have been surveying European consumers about their online music attitudes and behaviour for some time now and the report gives an insight into what consumers are really doing online. Although the likes of Apple have grabbed huge media attention over recent months, illegal file sharing remains the dominant online music activity, with 15 percent of European consumers using p2p networks to download music at least monthly. There are also strong links between broadband, music spending and file sharing, but not always in the way in which some parts of the music industry would like to have you believe. In fact file sharing is often an indication of a weak music market, rather than a cause of it, as is the case in Spain which has a 26% file sharing rate and just 12 Euros per capita music spending.
Other highlights of the research include the fact that traditional music playback devices still dominate, in spite of recent string sales of digital devices such as the iPod. 67 percent of European Internet users listen to music on a home hi-fi and 54% on their radio or car stereo, whilst just 6% use MP3 players. The good news for the music industry is that a fifth of European Internet users would pay for digital music services, which is of course 5 percent more than use illegal networks. So legitimate services could be bigger that illegal services in the mid term future. Of course consumer adoption typically falls short of intention and myriad other factors such as format compatibility could further hinder adoption.
So, in short, there’s good news and bad news here for Europe’s nascent digital music market. As an end of term report, it’s: ‘has done well, but must work hard next term’.