You buy music, you burn CDs, and you won't pay much for an online music-subscription service. Those are some of the results from the digital-music survey included in our June 21 Special Report on the future of online music. Nearly 500 readers participated. Although we acknowledge that this is an unscientific poll, your answers were enlightening, to say the least. Here's a quick look (full results below).
About 60% of respondents said they purchased from 1 to 5 CDs each month. An additional 5% said they buy from 6 to 10 per month, and 3% more said they buy 10 or more. That means a solid 68% of respondents are regular music consumers, a high number. The majority of you also love to download music. Only 25.6% of respondents said they don't download any songs.
These numbers also jibe well with what we found in terms of CD burning. Most respondents create their own CDs - 66.8%. That should give record executives pause since it seems to indicate that consumers not only want to download music but they want to package it themselves.
BROKEN MODEL. How much would respondents pay monthly for an online music-subscription service? Not much. About 32.3% -- the hardcore free-music afficianados, no doubt -- said they wouldn't pay anything. Less than 10% would pay more than $10 for the service.
Is the old distribution model centered around radio stations and record stores broken? You bet, according to this poll. Respondents overwhelmingly voiced an opinion that CDs remain overpriced, with 95% saying they should cost $12 or less. At the same time, 76.7% of respondents said they had found new music they liked using the Internet.
Taken together, these two responses tell a compelling story: Downloads from the Web are exerting significant price pressure on traditional CDs, in consumers' eyes, and the Internet is broadening their horizons and building the potential for a bigger music pie and a more efficient way to sell music.
DIGITAL-MUSIC SURVEY RESULTS
How many CDs do you buy each month?
More than 10
How many songs do you download each month?
More than 30
Do you burn your own CDs?
Do you own a portable MP3 player?
How much would you pay monthly for an online music-subscription service?
$1 to $5
$6 to $10
$11 to $15
More than $15
How much do you think the average CD album should cost?
$5 to $8
$9 to $12
$12 to $15
More than $15
Have you found new music that you like using the Internet?
By Alex Salkever in New York