Consumers have successfully navigated to the online world for discovering and purchasing recorded music. But they are strongly attached to the concept of owning versus renting music. Music marketers must keep this consumer attitude in mind as they promote their offerings.

A new survey published by eMusic, a digital music subscription service, and conducted by Insight Research Group, finds that consumers are accessing recorded music in the following ways:

  • Purchase music files online 53%
  • Buy physical copies of CDs or vinyl 51%
  • Stream music online for free 49%
  • Download digital music files online for free 42%
  • Pay to stream music online 13%

While the concept of streaming owned music online has been around for a while, the business model is not yet hugely popular with consumers. For now, consumers prefer to use streaming in a ‘try before you buy’ scenario.

Another study, by Park Associates,  revealed that consumers preferred the following methods of purchasing music:

  •  Hear song on Internet radio and then purchase 69%
  • Purchase through iTunes or Amazon 67%
  • Internet radio website links 65%

For now, it seems that consumer are not ready to give up on the idea of owning their music. But they like the idea of storing their music in the cloud – up to 40% indicate that the convenience of this storage method is something they will look into.

An online presence is a must to succeed in this industry. Both artists and producers should promote their work through Internet radio stations and other streaming campaigns to attract consumers who will then purchase the products they find appealing.

[Source: eMusic Releases Digital Music Consumer Survey. Emusic.com. September 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2011; Music Listeners and the Cloud. Emarketer.com. 17 Oct. 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2011]