Dholakia, Ruby [faculty advisor, College of Business Administration]
music; consumer; online
Since the introduction of the first peer-to-peer file sharing programs in the late twentieth century, sales of traditional music media have plummeted. Sales of CDs peaked in 2000 and have since returned to levels reached in the mid 1990s. The future of music marketing is certainly going to move toward complete online sales. However, online music sales will not increase unless more consumers who illegally download music or purchase CDs and other tangible music products move to online purchases. To determine how to draw more consumers to the online music market, this project attempted to gauge current music consumer behavior and their desires for online music. A survey was conducted on over 100 individuals and their music consumption habits. Our first hypothesis was that music consumers could be divided into three groups labeled for this project as traditionals, online-legals, and online-illegals. Our second hypothesis was that consumers would be more desirous of entering the online music market if they were offered a large array of products online. The results of this project indicate that most consumers do not fall neatly into any one of our hypothesized categories, and that lower prices, not value-added products or increased sound quality, is the factor that intrigued our subjects most. Most of our subjects belonged to a very specific segment of the music market that should be embracing legal online music, and their lack of enthusiasm about online music is surprising.