A survey of British music fans found that 40 percent couldn’t remember the last time they had bought a physical media CD.

A fifth of them (20 percent) reported downloading music during the previous week. That may not be unbridled good news for the recorded music industry, however, since virtually half (49 percent) said it is “acceptable” to download music for free.

The study, commissioned by music equipment manufacturer Audio-Technica, did not say how many of the previous week’s downloaders had paid for their acquisition.

“Although it is surprising to see how many people couldn’t remember when they last bought a CD, it’s a good thing that bands and artists are playing more live events – and that fans are now able to share their thoughts and opinions on these more easily than ever,” said Audio-Technica senior U.K. marketing manager Harvey Roberts. “Clearly this has had an impact on artists, with touring and live shows becoming increasingly important in replacing revenue lost from declining album sales.”

Related links:

Audio-Technica – 40% of people in the UK can’t remember when they last bought a CD

Music Week – Survey: half of people think not paying for music is acceptable

Photo of Rocking Horse Records in Brisbane by Flickr user xmacex, used under Creative Commons license



  1. The record companies have it wrong.
    The album is dead. The CD format is dead. Portable music is alive.
    The day the iPod and other MP3 players provided storage for thousands of songs amde it so no one person could afford to pay for enough music to fill these devices.
    To do that one would have to spend in excess or $5000 and that is only the entire album was converted and installed. Most only want a few tracks per album so that spending figure could easily double. Even if one paid for online downloads the cost would be around the $2000 mark to fill 8 gb.
    So maybe a lot of the blame for illegal downloading can be placed on the MP3 player manufacturers who continue increasing capacity and therefor adding the temptation to use the only means possible to fill the device was illegal downloading.
    Now if the record companies were smart they would have come up with some agreement where each player came with added value of music of the consumer’s choice. 100 tracks for $50, 1000 for $300 and so on.
    Unfortunately the record companies just want to hold on to a dying system and they may well die with it.

    • And the vinyl seems still very much alive as well.. ain’t that a paradox for you. CDs have to disappear since they were never exclusive to music but merely a storage medium. I would also like to point out that “illegal” downloads are unavoidable… no matter what legislation is put into place; and I really think the music industry is still better off despite this.