The simple version is that physical is going digital, and digital is going towards access. The real version, however, seems to be infinitely more complicated. According to a UK-based study just presented by eMusic and the Association of Independent Music (AIM) this morning, a massive 80 percent of British consumers still buy physical stuff like CDs and vinyl. And, one of the top reasons is the security that ownership offers.
In other words, it doesn't go 'poof.' Here's slide 5 from the morning presentation, which shows solid uptake on streaming services like Spotify but still-dominant positions on physical formats and downloads.
But why such a high percentage on physical? We've noticed that consumers still like tactile stuff, tangible objects, and non-thumbnail-sized artwork. But this taps into a much deeper, psychological reason for ownership: control, security, reliability. Because if music is your life partner, do you want it to walk out on you?
But wait: Spotify is huge in the UK, people seem super-comfortable with access and non-ownership! But maybe that's just one crowd, or one aspect of a complicated music audience. Because instead of finding resistance towards streaming platforms, eMusic found that streaming offered the perfect gateway towards ownership. But an astonishing 70 percent refused to pay for streaming on its own.
The study was administered by Insight Strategy Group and involved 1,400 UK-based music purchasers 18-64.
Unfortunately we couldn't get our hands on the questionairre itself, but the presentation does contain some of the questions.
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