The Leading Question spoke to over 1000 music fans as part of their annual Speakerbox survey into the state of music consumption in the UK. Despite the growth of digital download sales, the research showed that overall 73% of music fans are still happy buying CDs rather than downloading and that fans still value a physical CD much more than digital downloads. With a bedrock of sales from online stores and supermarkets (these channels represented 46% of all UK CD sales in 2008), even the demise of the specialist high street music store may not spell the end of the CD just yet.
For less tech savvy music fans their first experience of digital music often starts when they put a CD in their computer - and 59% of all music fans still listen to CDs every day. When it comes to the dark side, fans say that CD burning is top of all sharing activities at 23% above bluetoothing (18%), filesharing single tracks (17%) and filesharing albums (13%). The Report seems to support music streaming services saying that fans who stream music (ie those who listen to streamed music on their computers every day) also spend more on CDs (£12.17 a month) and downloads (£7.02 per month compared with a survey average of £3.81) than most music fans. Paul Brindley from Music Ally commented
“While we fully expect that digital will eventually replace most physical consumption, this is not a clear cut replacement cycle like the change from vinyl to CD. It’s particularly encouraging that those who are listening to streamed music on their computers are actually buying more music on both CDs and downloads than the average music fan. This suggests that digital can and is being used as a way of sampling new music which users may then go on to purchase”.