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Music streaming outstrips downloads, says Nielsen report

Spotify on iPhone

Consumers are more likely to stream music than pay to download it, according to a survey conducted by research agency Nielsen on behalf of Midem.

The Hyper-Fragmented World of Music survey involved 26,644 respondents interviewed across 53 markets during September 2010, according to MusicWeek.

It found that 17% of those polled paid to download music – although fewer than 10% had paid to download a full album – while 26% stream music. Just under half of the respondents admitted to downloading music without paying for it.

Awareness of streaming services is higher among younger consumers.

The biggest challenge for streaming music services is to make money out of them, with only 22% of those who had used a streaming service saying it was something they would pay for.

Ad-funded streaming services appealed to 57% of respondents, while 37% said they would be prepared to give certain personal information in exchange for free access to music.

Smartphones and mobiles will be key to driving the market for paid streaming services, the report finds, with 18% of those polled paying to download music to their handsets.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.