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40 per cent of Brits can’t remember the last time they bought a CD – study

New research has found that 40 per cent of people in the UK can’t remember when they last bought a CD, with nearly half believing that downloading music for free was acceptable.

The figures come from music equipment manufacturer Audio-Technica, who conducted a national study into Britain’s music purchasing habits as part of the company’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

A thousand music fans were grilled as to when they last bought a CD, what they thought of downloading free music and what effect music reviews had on purchases of concert tickets.

Of those surveyed, 40 per cent didn’t have a clue when they last purchased a CD, while a fifth said they had downloaded music in the last week, with nearly half (49 per cent) saying that they thought it was acceptable to download music free of charge.

Audio-Technica senior UK marketing manager Harvey Roberts said:

The portable nature of today’s music and its accessibility has made downloading much more common. Clearly this has had an impact on artists, with touring and live shows becoming increasingly important in replacing revenue lost from declining album sales. We’re currently in the middle of the festival season and it’s encouraging to see the level of interest in experiencing British and international talent live on stage.

Critical influence

In the study, over 60 per cent said that reviews would play a part in their decision to purchase music or concert tickets, with half saying that a stinky review would put them off buying music or tickets altogether.

More than two-thirds (67.3 per cent) of people confirmed they had read music reviews and thought that they could do a better job than professional music critics.

Roberts continued:

Although it is surprising to see how many people couldn’t remember when they last bought a CD, it’s a good thing that bands and artists are playing more live events – and that fans are now able to share their thoughts and opinions on these more easily than ever. With people blogging, commenting and tweeting about music gigs every single day, an increasing number of people see themselves as better reviewers than the professionals. We believe there are a lot of talented individuals out there who really know their music and this is what led us to launch our search to find the UK’s best unknown music reviewer.

Of course, Audio-Technica aren”t doing all this out of the goodness of their hearts, with the survey set up to publicise their  ‘Music Reviewer of the Year” competition, which hopes to tempt wannabe writers with a £1,000 prize.

Vote now!

We’ve set up a poll on our sister site, urban75 – tell us when you last bought a CD!