1/5th Of American Adults Don’t Use The Internet

Likely, they don't file-share songs either.
Has their music consumption decreased?

Aimage from scrapetv.comccording to survey results released by Pew research center, documenting broadband adoption in America,  one-fifth of adults don’t use the internet. If I remember right, from a survey published last year, 50% of these people, without access to the web, are country music fans. What always interested me about numbers like this isn’t the disparity of living without something that I’ve built my life around—oddly enough, that’s not my biggest curiosity. No, what gets me interested is the idea of giving this group survey questions that illustrate their music consumption over the course of the last ten years—how its changed—estimated fluctuations in their buying behavior.

Simply put, how much music they were buying back then verses how much they are still purchasing today. As well as, what other media their disposable income has been spread across.  What would the results look like?  In my mind, I wonder if there wouldn’t be a natural decline in music purchases as other mediums of entertainment—well, quite obviously not the internet—came to play a more predominate role in their lives. Maybe not even that.  Maybe, the numbers don’t need to have that variable to be revealing, but the core idea behind this thought exercise is that these people obviously can’t file-share music. So, if there was any kind of decline in their purchasing habits, it would have to be for other reasons. Now, I’m not blind to idea that people with computers and access to the web would show declines because they stopped buying their music all together.

However, I do think a research firm should take to the idea of surveying the music consumption habits of non-web users, as if there are declines, then there are, like others have suggested, much more complicated societal and cultural forces at work here than just people file-sharing music. Ones which won’t just be reversed by damning the 80 percent those 18-to-29 years old's who do use the internet and trying to reverse the decline in their music buying habits, with tighter digital locks and draconian legislation. We may already realize this, but proof helps.

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  1. Well, I wouldn’t use the internet that much either if it weren’t necessary these days to discover good music. But I’m happy that it exists. Otherwise, I would have missed out on quite a few great albums and artists during the last 10 years, which is approximately the time period during which I’ve had online connection.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if this also doesn’t extend to R&B fans over 35 either. If you’re still into selling plastic cds, then you might want to consider doing either country or R&B (as opposed to Hip-Hop)and Jazz. Most of my older African American friends still buy cds. If the majors were smart,they’d concentrate their efforts on producing music for people that don’t download,but you can’t tell them anything ’cause they think they know it all. If you’ve got a problem with product being stolen,then stop producing that product and make something you CAN sell.DUH!

  3. I don’t think that that 1/5 gets it for the music that they listen to. Country Music fans are probably just as internet savvy as the rest of us, but are more loyal to their genre then some of us are. They to need to cross the digital divide and embrace their genre via new technology. Sooner or later, they’ll have to.

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