updated 09:25 pm EDT, Thu July 13, 2006
Women spark digital music
A new research study shows that the digital music market has experienced remarkable growth in the past year with women aged 15-49 emerging as the hottest growth demographic and the iPod maintaining a 10-to-1 margin over its nearest competitor. The survey, conducted by Digital Life America in the U.S. and Fast ForwardTM in Canada, found that 28 percent of Americans aged 12 and older--an estimated 67 million--now own a digital music player, more than double the 12 percent figure in 2005. Remarkably, it appears that strongest growth demographic is women. According to the data, ownership of digital music players tripled among women from a mere 8 percent in 2005 to 27 percent in 2006. The survey also found signficant growth among men with over 28 percent owning a digital music player--up from 18 percent in 2005.
Apple continues to dominate and has increased its share of all digital music players from 53 percent to 68 percent in one year. Creative Labs is a distant number two with 6% of the market. RCA, Samsung and Sony each register a 2-3% share of the market.
GenX leads the way
While younger Americans showed the most growth, Generation X seems to have caught the bug. The biggest growth in the past year came from "Gen Xers" and younger Boomers, those between the agest of 30 and 49. Ownership is now 33 percent--nearly triple the 12 percent figure from a year ago.
As digital music players grow in popularity, so did the number of Americans who download music from the internet. Nearly half of all US internet users--about 45 percent--downloaded music at some point in the past from pay sites or p2p sources, up from 31 percent only a year ago.
Women also buying more music
Not only are women buying more music players, but they are buying more music. Nearly three times as many female Internet users are now 'regular' paid downloaders of music with 14 percent of women internet users paying for a song online in the past month in 2006 versus only 4 percent in 2005.
"Women are more likely to be driven by acute time poverty and the iPod/iTunes combination offers an easy-to-use, hassle-free digital entertainment experience compared to p2p and other alternatives," said Kaan Yigit, director of the study.
The total number of Americans who paid for a song download also increased significantly due to the digital music player boom. In 2005, only 8 percent of internet users paid for digital music online at some point. In 2006, this was up significantly to 23 precent, or about an estimated 39 million people age 12 and older.
According to the company, the survey was based on random national sample of 1,016 interviews conducted in the U.S. via telephone in June 2006 tracking a similar survey done in the same time period in 2005 among 1,062 respondents.