Subscription services will eventually outpace a la carte downloads and CDs won't be replaced by digital music in the next five years, according to JupiterResearch.
According to Jupiter's latest survey on digital and online music – the Consumer Survey Report: Music, 2004 – even in 2009, digital music sales will only represent 12 per cent of consumer music spending.
The research found that 16 per cent of online adults are interested in downloading a 99-cent single, 17 per cent are tempted by subscription services.
The survey also showed that 51 per cent of online adults think physical music is more valuable than digital.
However, according to the research, interest in subscription services increases for teens ages 13-17 (19 per cent), nearly doubles for young adults ages 18-24 (31 per cent), and hits 37 per cent for the music aficionados – those who have spent more than $45 on music in the past three months and engage in digital music activities on a regular basis.
JupiterResearch Analyst Josh Green said: "Digital music is a young person's game. Forty one percent of 18-24 year-olds burn CDs and 31 per cent use file sharing. For the over 25 crowd, those numbers are only 14 per cent and 4 per cent."