Wednesday, February 6, 2008

National Poll: Which do you own more of? MP3s or CDs?

MP3s: 49.4%
CDs: 50.6%
Men: 52.3% 47.7%
Women: 43.6% 56.4%
Prediction Accuracy: 33.0%

I must admit that this particular poll is interesting to me for two reasons: 1) The evenness of the results (sure CDs won it, but we're talking within 1% here) and 2) The fact that most people thought that MP3s would have won the poll, myself included. The difference between genders I honestly attribute to pirating. I'm inclined to think that men will steal music more than women would (especially amongst a college crowd) and I don't think that this particular statistical breakdown shows the digital music spending habits of Wii console owners as much as it confirms how we tend to describe the average P2P users.

Revisiting point #1, while MP3s haven't completely overtaken CDs in this poll, this definitely confirms the fears that the RIAA hold that they're losing CD sales and explains why they're desperately trying to stop people from ripping CDs that they own.

On an personal note, I still prefer to purchase CDs over MP3s. I prefer to have a physical copy that I can re-rip without problems if for some reason my computer crashes (it's happened once to two different computers I own over the course of the last 3-4 years). Having a physical backup that doesn't count towards a time I can burn it (like with a lot of DRM'd MP3s) is reassuring. Additionally, I like to buy my CDs used from Amazon or I can usually pick up really good albums from popular artists for $5-7 that are in near mint condition if I am patient enough to wait a year or so to get them. I don't mind doing this and it accomplishes varied different goals for me (the remainder of which I won't go through now).

The idea that music will, in the future, be all digital is kind of scary to me at the moment. The current situation of digital music isn't quite where I want it to be. On the bright side, DRM seems to be disappearing. Music labels seem to be giving up on that point. On the downside, it gets really complex (and sometimes downright impossible) to get replacement MP3s if for some reason I don't have a backup somewhere when I need it. I've read the iTunes horror stories and am glad that I've only ever downloaded their free music downloads instead of investing in albums with them. AmazonMP3 only allows one download ever, so they're not that much better of a prospect. Until this changes (which, knowing the RIAA, probably won't), I'm still going to look into CD purchases.

Any comments on this particular poll (or the state of digital music in general)?

1 comment:

Brandon said...

The same question was asked in Everyone Votes in Canada. MP3's won in Canada. Haha I guess we tend to pirate music more in the north.