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College students are increasing their use of PCs and portable MP3 players to listen to packaged and downloaded music, but they still do most of their music listening on car and home audio systems, according to a recent survey of college campuses.
The survey, conducted twice a year by Student Monitor, a market research firm, actually found the amount of listening to packaged media on home and car stereos rose between spring 2003 and spring 2002 (see table). Listening to cassettes and CDs on boomboxes and headphone stereos was also up during that time.
That's potential good news for an industry that has been contracting for years. Factory-level dollar sales of home stereo components have fallen every year since 1996, home system sales have fallen since 2001, and aftermarket car stereo sales dropped in 2000 and 2001, grew only 3.6 percent in 2002, and are heading back down this year, CEA statistics show.
For its semiannual surveys, Student Monitor interviews 1,200 four-year full-time undergraduates on 100 campuses said to be nationally representative. The latest survey was taken in the spring.
In researching music-listening habits, Student Monitor found that 66 percent of the surveyed students listened to a cassette or CD in their car in the previous 30 days, up from 59 percent in the spring 2002 survey. Fifty percent listened to a cassette or CD on their home stereo system, up from 46 percent. The third most popular music-listening method was CD listening via a PC, with 46 percent of students saying they had done so during the previous 30 days. Next in descending order were listening to digitally downloaded music via a PC, listening to a boombox, listening to a headphone CD or cassette player, and listening to downloaded music on an MP3 portable. All methods posted gains from the previous spring survey with the possible exception of CD listening on a PC. That method wasn't included in the spring 2002 questions.
The survey also found that CD burning has replaced flag burning in popularity on campus. When asked how they acquired music in the past month, 53 percent said they burned a CD from a non-CD source such as an MP3 file or cassette. Twenty-three percent said they made an exact duplicate of a CD, down from 33 percent in the prior-year survey. Fifteen percent in both surveys said they visited Internet sites offering music not licensed for download. And 27 percent said they visited Internet sites offering free music.How College Students Listen To Music
|Spring '03||Spring '02||Change|
|CDs/cassettes played in car||66%||59%||7%|
|Broadcast radio in car||63%||60%||3%|
|Broadcast radio in someone else's car||55%||54%||1%|
|CDs/cassettes played on home stereo||50%||46%||4%|
|CDs on PC's CD drive||46%||NA||NA|
|Digitally downloaded music on PC||43%||38%||5%|
|CDs/cassettes played on boombox||40%||34%||6%|
|CDs/cassettes played on portable player||35%||31%||4%|
|CDs on someone else's PC's CD drive||31%||NA||NA|
|Digitally downloaded music on portable player||15%||12%||3%|
|Internet radio played on PC||14%||13%||3%|
|Internet radio played on someone else's PC||14%||10%||4%|
|Source: Student Monitor, Ridgewood, N.J. ©TWICE 2003|