But Wait: Survey Says Students Still Prefer Downloads

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Surveys related to file-trading, streaming, or other aspects of music consumption are often difficult to trust.

The reason is that participants simply lie about their file-trading habits, usually to avoid a perceived enforcement threat.  The result is a discount on the amount of actual unauthorized sharing, an unrealistic expansion in the amount of legal acquisition, and various other distortions.

Perhaps the best thing to do is simply avoid music-related surveys, though some takeaways are worth reviewing, at least with a grain of salt.  That includes a recent survey conducted by moneysupermarket.com, which showed that file-trading volumes are getting lowered by Spotify.

But just moments after that finding surfaced, another interesting result came from the University of Reading.  The canvass of 10,000 university students found that most prefer downloading from iTunes, and would rather keep files than jump into a premium Spotify subscription.

But the more menacing competitor, not mentioned in the finding, is the freebie download – easily acquired, easily stored, and totally portable without a connection.  According to separate data sources, on-demand streaming is definitely distracting users away from swapping, though Spotify is still sharing the stage with a very flexible, portable, and ‘tangible’ MP3.