Recent data from Nielsen/NetRatings shows that 61.9 mln people visited online music sites in April 2005, with male visitors slightly outnumbering females. Approximately 60% of visitors were under 45 years of age and the majority has a household income over $50,000. There are now over 230 music services online where consumers can purchase music, and brands such as iTunes, Napster, MSN Music and others are making their presence felt worldwide, eMarketer says. Record companies have digitized and licensed over 1 mln songs, and the emergence of subscription music services and digital audio players are giving music listeners unprecedented access, value and flexibility.
A variety of estimates indicate that digital downloads and subscription music will be a $1 bln business in the US by 2007. By the end of 2005 there will be over 41 mln broadband households in the US and an almost equal number of digital audio players in the market. iTunes and iPods go hand in hand, and with the recent phenomenon of podcasting and the growing popularity of satellite radio, on-demand audio entertainment has moved to the next level.