Despite criticism that MP3 and related software is hurting the
music industry (can you say "cease and desist?"), a recent survey
of 40,000 U.S. households found that MP3 users are purchasing three
more CDs on average in a six-month period than non-MP3 users.
The survey was made in February by Internet research and
consulting firm Gartner Group
Inc. Yesterday, a federal judge granted a preliminary
injunction at the request of the Recording Industry Association of
America (RIAA), which sued Napster in December for copyright
"It's very clear that the segment of consumers that is
purchasing significantly more CDs is also more receptive to digital
distribution," said Sujata Ramnarayan, senior analyst for Gartner's
e-Business Services Group.
"Instead of working against MP3, it's time that the RIAA and
record labels start making MP3 work for them to sustain, nurture
and grow what appears to be MP3's positive correlation with music
A significantly greater number of MP3 users are using the
Internet both to purchase music CDs and to get product information,
the survey found 30 percent compared to 8 percent of the general
MP3 users are still making in-store purchases --in fact, 62
percent compared to 50 percent of the general population, the
survey found. However, their mail order/phone purchases are lower
compared to the general population -- 19 percent compared to 21
Ramnarayan said it is possible the convenience of getting music
online is exposing consumers to a greater variety of music that
they can try before buying.
"The fact that a greater percentage of MP3 users are still
making in-store purchases or purchasing online would suggest
immediate gratification is a reason for greater incidence of
purchase," Ramnarayan said.
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