New Poll Examines Music Buyers and Their Needs

A new poll by Ipsos, conducted for the Associated Press and Rolling Stone magazine, suggests that music downloading is only part of the reason for declining CD sales. Of the 1,000 adults surveyed, 74% think that CDs are too expensive, and 58% feel that music is getting worse. Older respondents (age 40 and over) were more likely than 18-to-34-year-olds to feel this way, but still, 49% of that latter demographic did feel that music is getting worse. The poll says that four out of five respondents consider unauthorized downloads to be "stealing".

I would fall into the 58% who feel that music is getting worse. Maybe it's because I'm older (I'm not 40 yet, but I'm older than 34). But many contemporary mainstream rock bands sound whiny, or creatively lazy, or both, to me. Most newer rock music just isn't as fun as the older stuff used to be. Sure, CDs are expensive, but they always basically have been, and I've been collecting them for most of my adult life. Of course, I didn't have access to services like iTunes in my younger years. But my point is that I don't mind shelling out for CDs that are worthwhile. The problem is, most contemporary bands are not worth my hard-earned bucks.

There is one finding in this poll that I found particularly interesting:

Rock 'n' roll is the most popular style of music, cited by 26 percent of the fans. It runs neck-and-neck with country among fans ages 35 or over.

Rap music is the source of the biggest generation gap. Among fans under age 35, 18 percent called rap or hip-hop their favorite style of music, the poll found. Only 2 percent of people ages 35 and over said the same thing.

Well! This runs contrary to those in the media who insinuate (or, in some cases, say outright) that rock and roll is dead, and that rap and hip hop are the only types of music that matter. Even when you consider the generation gap, the media has not succeeded as much as people might think they have at shoving things down the public's throats.

I feel compelled to point out one slightly misleading paragraph. This article makes it sound as though CD sales have been on a steady decline since 2001, but that's not exactly true. Sales were down in 2005 from 2004, but sales were up in 2004 from 2003, according to this BBC article:

I still wonder why a source based on the other side of the Atlantic is the only source I heard that information from all year. The American media only seems to report bad news. No wonder these younger bands are so miserable.