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Poll: Music Buyers Are Dissatisfied

American adults say CDs are too pricey and music is getting worse

February 2, 2006 9:20 AM ET

A majority of American adults are dissatisfied with CD prices and the quality of music, according to a new Rolling Stone/Associated Press poll. Seventy-four percent believe that CDs are too expensive, but seventy-one percent consider ninety-nine cents a fair price for digital-song downloads. The music itself is getting worse, according to fifty-eight percent -- not surprisingly, though, that belief is considerably stronger among adults older than thirty-four.

Despite digital music's explosive growth, downloading remains a minority taste among adults: Only twenty-six percent of those polled have downloaded music from the Internet, legally or illegally. And a mere fifteen percent have paid for music online through services like iTunes. Thirty-three percent agree that piracy is responsible for music sales' decline during the last five years, while twenty-nine percent blame competition from other entertainment, and the remainder blame bad music and high prices.

Meanwhile, reports of terrestrial radio's impending death appear to be exaggerated. Fifty-five percent of those polled said that they discover new music via FM radio. Still, that number lowers to thirty-nine percent among those who download music. Ten percent of adults discover new acts from music channels like MTV and Fuse, while another nine percent look to network shows such as The OC and CSI.

The poll also reveals that record labels that sue file sharers may be targeting their best customers: Downloaders are more likely than other respondents to frequently buy CDs in stores.

Source: Rolling Stone/AP/Ipsos

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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