Streaming services including Pandora, Rhapsody and Spotify continue to gain traction among millions of listeners but, according to a report from Forrester Research (FORR), 58% of adults in the U.S. who used the Internet in 2009 still maintain a digital music collection.
With their numbers rising from 54% in 2008 and with a mean average of 1,200 songs in their collections, those consumers have amplified their say in the future of cloud-based music content, in which songs are provided to computers and other devices on-demand.
"If everything goes into the cloud and all you're doing is listening to Rhapsody, you're not going to give up the music you already have," says Sonal Gandhi, a Forrester analyst and lead researcher on the recently released report "The Growing Significance of Digital Music Collections." "You've spent time and money collecting the music and making those playlists, and that time and money needs to be accounted for."Forrester's findings come as music-related companies suffer a drop in demand. Nielsen Soundscan said last month that digital-music sales were down in the first quarter, while the biggest music company in the world, Vivendi's Universal Music Group, had a 1.7% digital drop as part of a 13% plunge in overall quarterly music sales. Against that backdrop, digital-music consumers are still in a state of flux, if not confusion. Though the online user has embraced the digital medium, Forrester finds that about 52% of his library comprises music ripped from compact discs and only 17% purchased online. The options are complicating matters, as Google's (GOOG) Android, iPhone, Palm (PALM), Research In Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry and Nokia's (NOK) Symbian smartphone operating systems all run their own music-management software. Meanwhile, Sony (SNE), Panasonic (PC) and Samsung hardware also have their own take on digital-music management. Even when a cloud-based service does span several platforms, like Pandora or Sony favorite Slacker Radio, the attachment to a personal collection is often sacrificed for portability. It's the reason such streaming services have been successful in introducing subscription plans, but it also addresses a need that traditional online music stores aren't meeting.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV