September 1, 2005, 12:00 AM

Online rock `n` roll is here to stay

When music fans will pay for sounds

Ever since Napster went legit and iTunes rocked the online music world, many music retailers and those who sell music-related merchandise have wondered where the market is heading. According to a new report by eMarketer Inc., Online Music: Downloads, Streaming, Radio, Mobile, music downloading is in its infancy. Only a small portion of the population has downloaded music so far, although the reasons consumers give for downloading now when they had not before bode well for industry growth: got broadband Internet access, bought a better computer, bought a digital music player, all technology trends with strong growth ahead. "2004 marks the year that a genuine online music sector emerged," eMarketer senior analyst Ben Macklin concludes. EMarketer pulled together stats from a number of sources. Here are a few from the 16-page report:

 

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