Wow. Just last year, we passed along news from the NPD Group that “about one million consumers stopped buying CDs in 2007.” Well, in 2008 it got much, much worse: “there were nearly 17 million fewer CD buyers in 2008 compared to the prior year.”
More bad news for the industry:
• The decline in CD buyers cuts across all demographic groups, but was particularly focused on teens and consumers age 50 and older.
• There were 13 million fewer music buyers in the U.S. last year, compared to the prior year. The decline in music purchasing was led by a 19 percent drop in CD sales.
• Only 58 percent of Internet users reported purchasing CDs or digital music downloads last year, versus 65 percent in 2007.
The good news:
• The number of Internet users paying for digital music increased by just over 8 million in 2008 to 36 million Internet users.
• Purchases of online digital music downloads increased by 29 percent since last year.
The indifferent news:
• Digital downloads now account for 33 percent of all music tracks purchased in the U.S.
• The percentage of consumers claiming to listen to music on social networks climbed from 15 percent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2007 to 19 percent in Q4 2008.
• Nearly half of U.S. teens are engaging with music on social networks, which is an increase from 37 percent a year ago; among college-age Internet users, the percentage increased from 30 percent in 2007 to 41 percent in 2008.