The advent of MTV in 1981 ushered in a whole new way for musical artists to connect with their fan base, and though TV still remains a key medium for people across the globe to watch music videos, the computer has become an equal contender, especially in developed markets like the US. When asked how they watched music videos over the past month, Americans were almost split, with 40% saying they watched them on TV while 39% watched them on the computer. Just 9% said they watched music videos on their mobile devices though this number is expected to grow.
Despite what some may think, the record store is not dead. Even with the rise in digital music, many still want to own music in its physical form. In the past month, 23% of Americans bought a music CD at a store, compared to 30% globally who did this, while 19% purchased one online (11% globally). While this is good news for music retailers, there is still an underbelly of counterfeit CDs and illegal downloading that physical and online retailers across the globe are competing with. The music industry has spent considerable effort to attach stigmas to illegal music downloading, which seems to be working in some markets, particularly the US. Only 15% of Americans admitted to downloading a song from the internet without paying for it, compared to 29% globally, and 18% stream music directly from a service such as MySpace, The Hype Machine, etc., compared to 21% globally who do this.
Of course, most people do purchase their music legally and legal mobile downloads are beginning to take off in some parts of the globe, Seven percent of US consumers have paid for music apps on their phone and to download a full length mobile music track.