New York, NY (December 6, 2005)–JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corporation, announced that the European music industry is facing a demographic time bomb that could impact future revenues, according to the report entitled “European Music Consumer Survey, 2005.”
The JupiterResearch report reveals that European consumers who download music from illegal file sharing networks currently outnumber those downloading from legal services such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store by a factor of three to one: 15 percent file share while just 5 percent pay to download. There is solid demand for paid downloads, however; 10 percent of European consumers are willing to pay, rising as high as 31 percent in Sweden.
File sharing penetration in Europe is highest among younger consumers (34 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds) and is impacting the way they value music with many having little concept of music as a paid commodity. Among the 46 percent of European online 15- to 24-year-olds who use the Internet to consume music, the CD is becoming increasingly irrelevant: 40 percent do not consider the CD to be a good value for money and 43 percent prefer to copy rather than buy CDs. Unless these consumers are encouraged to develop music purchasing behavior soon they may never develop meaningful music buying habits.
“Illegal activity is a key threat. The ‘Digital Youth’ of today are being brought up on a near limitless diet of free and disposable music from file sharing networks. When these consumers age and increase spending power they should become key music buying consumers,” stated Mark Mulligan, analyst at JupiterResearch. “But unless the music industry can transition these consumers whilst they are young away from free consumption to paid music formats, be they digital or CDs, they may never develop music purchasing behavior and the recording industry could suffer long-term harm.”