1/5th Of American Adults Don’t Use The Internet
Likely, they don't file-share songs either.
Has their music consumption decreased?
According to survey results released by Pew research center, documenting broadband adoption in America, one-fifth of adults don’t use the internet. If I remember right, from a survey published last year, 50% of these people, without access to the web, are country music fans. What always interested me about numbers like this isn’t the disparity of living without something that I’ve built my life around—oddly enough, that’s not my biggest curiosity. No, what gets me interested is the idea of giving this group survey questions that illustrate their music consumption over the course of the last ten years—how its changed—estimated fluctuations in their buying behavior.
Simply put, how much music they were buying back then verses how much they are still purchasing today. As well as, what other media their disposable income has been spread across. What would the results look like? In my mind, I wonder if there wouldn’t be a natural decline in music purchases as other mediums of entertainment—well, quite obviously not the internet—came to play a more predominate role in their lives. Maybe not even that. Maybe, the numbers don’t need to have that variable to be revealing, but the core idea behind this thought exercise is that these people obviously can’t file-share music. So, if there was any kind of decline in their purchasing habits, it would have to be for other reasons. Now, I’m not blind to idea that people with computers and access to the web would show declines because they stopped buying their music all together.
However, I do think a research firm should take to the idea of surveying the music consumption habits of non-web users, as if there are declines, then there are, like others have suggested, much more complicated societal and cultural forces at work here than just people file-sharing music. Ones which won’t just be reversed by damning the 80 percent those 18-to-29 years old's who do use the internet and trying to reverse the decline in their music buying habits, with tighter digital locks and draconian legislation. We may already realize this, but proof helps.