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Consumer Research


How much are British youth spending on music downloads?

How much are British youth spending on music downloads?

A survey from Q Research shows how much money young people aged 11-25 pay every month to download MP3 music tracks to their PC or MP3 player.

The majority of those surveyed listen to music on their MP3 player or on their PC. Some 85 per cent of the respondents already own an MP3 player, with the iPod being by far the most popular device.

The survey reveals how much money our respondents spend each month to download music. Whilst 45 per cent pay nothing, almost a third spend up to £5 a month with 3 per cent spending £25 or more each month.

The youngest respondents in our survey are the heaviest users of free downloads, with almost half of them taking advantage of these services.

However, despite the fact that the majority of them will be relying on pocket money, 43 per cent of under 16’s are paying up to £10 a month, with 9 per cent paying as much as £10 to £25 every month. But it is the 20-24 year olds who are the biggest spenders.

Two thirds of them spend up to £10 a month on downloads, and 16 per cent spend from £10 to £20 per month.

Music on the mobile phone will be a smash hit – but price matters

Three quarters of our respondents said that they would like to be able to listen to music on their mobile phone, with male respondents (81 per cent) favouring it slightly more than female respondents (72 per cent).

However, the findings also indicate that this audience is very aware of the cost of using their mobiles and although some already use them to listen to music, only 3 per cent of them have downloaded tracks directly to their mobile from the Internet because of the high cost of doing so.

The majority of respondents (82 per cent) download tracks to their PC to listen to on their computer or MP3 player.

We asked respondents if they would consider accepting advertising messages on their phones in exchange for free MP3 file downloads. 48 per cent said yes and 34 per cent said “maybe”.

Further breakdown of this result shows that the older the respondent, the more opposed they are to receiving advertising to alleviate cost.

Dr Liz Nelson from Q Research says “This survey shows that whilst there is already a very buoyant market for paying for MP3 files from the Internet amongst young people, they are very aware of the cost of downloading files to their phones.

“This finding is underlined by other projects we have done, where we’ve discovered opposition amongst young people to watching video or receiving video ads to their mobiles because of the cost.

She concluded, “With so many companies creating additional services to be delivered by mobile phone, from music to advertising to social networking, it’s crucial that they get really close to young people to understand their attitudes and opinions before launching services aimed at them.” 

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