Study: 92% of Music Fans Still Prefer Ownership

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Yes, still: According to a study just concluded by eMusic, music fans overwhelmingly prefer ownership over streaming, by a drastic margin.

That is, 92% prefer ownership of music over any other method, with unlimited playback and security of collections cited as top reasons.   Here’s a top-level from the report, specifically for dedicated music fans:

> 91% prefer to own music because it allows them to listen as many times as they want
> 89% prefer to own the music they like, rather than stream it
> 86% feel that ownership gives them security that their files will not disappear

The study, administered by Insight Research Group, was shared with Digital Music News on Thursday morning.  It surveyed users between the ages of 18-64, and drew a distinction between die-hard ‘independent’ music fans and the general population.

But the results were largely similar between the camps – in fact, dedicated fans were even more attached to ownership.  The general population voted 91% in favor of ownership, with ‘just’ 86% citing security of their collections as a primary reason.

But this is not a black-and-white, ownership-vs-streaming debate.  Streaming – paid, free, video, audio, whatever – carries a symbiotic relationship with ownership, often serving as a critical sampling start.  And that’s a big problem, because roughly three-fourths of the sample refuse to pay for streaming, preferring to use it only as a free taster.

That said, there is a modest group paying for streaming: that is, 20% of more dedicated fans and 13% of the general population.  But a vast majority of those buyers (88% and 84%, respectively) are also purchasing a-la-carte songs and albums.

Also encouraging for the likes of Spotify, MOG, and Rdio: modest amount in both camps (14% and 15%, respectively) indicated that they would pay for streaming access in the future.  But more than 40% expressed interest in cloud-based storage of the music they own, a nice nod to incoming giants like Amazon, Google, and Apple.