Music fans tune in to the net

The survey indicated that 42 per cent of those with access to the net had visited music sites. It was conducted among 1200 Australians, of whom approximately a third has access to the internet.

Among the people who frequent music sites, 46 per cent use music sites to find specific tracks and artists and 42 per cent to download tracks. More significantly, 65 per cent buy music monthly or more often via the internet and retail outlets.

"The survey shows that the most enthusiastic users of online music are also the biggest buyers of music," said Sam King, vice president of MP3.com.au.

The survey also found that a third of Australians who buy music weekly or more often are aged 18 to 24. According to a Forrester Research survey, two-thirds of people aged 16 to 22 listen to music online and 60 per cent have downloaded music files.

The Australian music market was worth $950 million in 1999, according to market researcher www.consult.com. By 2002, it estimates that 10 per cent of all music will be purchased online.

Domenic Carosa, CEO of Ehyou.com which owns and operates MP3.com.au, also quoted Forrester Research which stated that the worldwide music market has grown 8 per cent in the last 12 months, after having been stagnant in the previous two to three years.

"The online music market and accessibility of music over the web has generated this growth," said Carosa. "Music on the internet supports the sale of music."

Ehyou.com has also started MP3.co.nz, using its existing music service provider technologies and venture capital. It is planning to set up a similar music website in the UK later this year.

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Angelina Forsyth

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