Music Industry

Published on November 21st, 2017 | by Alan Cross

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CDs, Vinyl or Downloads: What Influences Our Choice of Format?

Most of us are probably pretty ecumenical when it comes to choosing a format for listening to music. Digital files are just way too convenient to ignore. CDs offer excellent sound, as does vinyl. And both appeal to the collector in us. But if push came to shove, which format would you choose over all others?

This is from ABC in Australia:

People are likely to mix and match how they listen to their music, said University of Melbourne research fellow Dr Amanda Krause.

Dr Krause surveyed 400 people from three continents to find out how and why they listened to music through particular devices and formats.

She said she wasn’t able to tell if people were only listening to CDs, or only listening to free digital streaming — but that there was a definite split between digital and physical methods of listening.

The majority of those surveyed said digitally downloaded files were the format they used most often to access music, with free and subscription-based digital streaming both about half as popular.

Physical means of accessing music — including CDs, vinyl, and tape — were among the least used formats.

Live music was the least common way for people to listen to music. But while rare, it was actually the favourite overall because it offered something that the other formats didn’t appear to.

“In terms of people saying why live music is their favourite, there’s a social element — you’re in a crowd sharing an experience, sharing emotions,” Dr Krause said.

So that settles…nothing, then. Read the whole story here.




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker.

In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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