There were 13 million fewer music buyers in the U.S. in 2008 compared to the prior year although music listening is increasing, according to a new survey report put out by the NPD Group.
It seems the decline in music buying was led by a 19% drop in CD sales (there were 17 million fewer CD buyers in 2008 compared to the prior year).
According to NPD, only 58% of Internet users reported a CD purchase or digital music download last year compared to 65% in 2007.
Recession, price of CDs and satisfaction with the collection of titles owned were some reasons cited by consumers for not buying CDs. Decline in CD buying was noticed across all demographic groups but pronounced in teens and consumers aged 50 and over.
NPD sees evidence of greater music listening in higher awareness of online music station Pandora and higher percentage of consumers claiming to listen to music on social networks.
On a positive note, the number of Internet users paying for digital music rose by 8 million in 2008 to 36 million.
In 2008, purchase of online digital music was up 29% and now accounts for 33% of all music tracks purchased in the U.S.