The Gartner Group has released survey results which reveal that MP3 users buy more, not fewer, CDs than non-MP3 users.

The results reveal MP3 users are buying three more CDs on average in a six-month period than non-MP3 users. Some analysts say this reflects the disposable income of Internet-connected MP3 fans.

Gartner surveyed 40,000 US households in February for its survey. Gartner Group’s Sujata Ramnarayan said: "It’s clear that the segment of consumers that is purchasing significantly more CDs is also more receptive to digital distribution."

He added: "Instead of working against MP3, it’s time that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the labels start making MP3 work for them, to develop what appears to be MP3’s positive correlation with music sales."

A total of 62 per cent of MP3 users buy music in retail stores, and 30 per cent purchase sounds online. The research reveals the Internet plays a key role, with 41 per cent of MP3 users using it to find product information before making a purchase.

The Gartner Group is also set to publish its report, Is Napster Hurting Music Sales? The Group believes the emerging business model for music online will be one in which consumers purchase music on a per-track or per-album – rather than a subscription – basis.