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Users Not Ready To Pay For Web Music

Consumers have not accepted purchasing and downloading music via the Web and are not likely to change with the new services being developed by the recording industry, according to a survey by research firm GartnerG2 on Wednesday.

The survey of 4000 adults on the Internet found that nearly 50 percent of those polled listened to CDs on their PCs; whereas only 25 percent listen to music downloads from the Internet on their PCs.

In the same GarterG2 survey, it was reported that only 6 percent of the same demographic purchased digital music downloads in the last 3 months.

“The percentage of Internet music buyers is not likely to increase with new Internet services being developed by the big five music companies unless they make their copyright protection systems more flexible to entice consumers,” said GartnerG2 analyst PJ McNealy in discussing the survey.

The report reflects a contrarian view to many other research reports projecting huge spikes in online music sales in coming years.

The report said that in order for the digital music revolution to become viable, the “Big 5” record labels, including Vivendi Universal’s Universal Music, Sony Music, AOL Time Warner Inc. Warner Music, EMI Group Plc and Bertelsmann AG’s BMG must agree to a standard platform for digital music distribution.

As each label struggles to find ‘the right’ digital rights management (DRM) solution, they are simultaneously alienating their consumers and stalling the economics of the proposition, according to the GartnerG2 report.

“Digital distribution needs to be brain-dead simple for consumers, and any DRM solution deployed should work with all music software and hardware. In order for this to happen, the Big 5 need to work together, and that doesn’t look hopeful before 2002,” McNealy said.

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