11% of U.S. Owns an iPod or MP3 Player, New Study Finds

WASHINGTON -- 11% of Americans over 18 own an Apple iPod or similar MP3 player and almost one in five of those under the age of 30 have bought a digital music device, a new study has found.

The study, carried out by the Washington-based nonprofit Pew Internet & American Life Project, showed 22 million adults in the U.S. own a MP3 player. While younger people had a better chance of owning an iPod or MP3 device, the number dropped to one in seven in the 30-to-39 and 40-to-48 age groups.

"iPods and MP3 players are heading into the mainstream," Lee Rainie, project director at the Pew Internet & American Life Project, told The Mac Observer. "Itis certainly an ever-growing part of the fabric of young Americans. It isnit yet the norm with the older generation."

The higher the income bracket, the more people own an iPod or MP3 player, the survey showed. 24% of those who live in households earning more than US$75,000 have a digital music device. 10% of those living in households earning $30,000 to $75,000 have them and 6% of those living in households earning less than $30,000 have them as well.

Other details of the survey included:

  • Men are more likely to have iPods/MP3 players than women. Some 14% of men have the players, compared to 9% of women.

  • Fully 14% of those ages 30-39 have an MP3 player and 14% of younger baby boomers, ages 40-48, have them.

  • 16% of parents living with children under 18 years old have iPods/MP3 players, compared to 9% of those who don?t have children living at home.

  • Those who use the Internet are four times as likely as non-internet users to have iPods/MP3 players, "probably because its easier and faster to download music online," Mr. Rainie said. Fully 15% of internet users have iPods/MP3 players, compared to 4% of non-Internet users.

  • The more advanced the Internet user, the more likely it is that he or she has an iPod/MP3 player. Those with six years or more of Web experience are twice as likely to have them as those who are relative new to the Internet.

  • Broadband access is strongly associated with ownership of iPods/MP3 players. Some 23% of those with broadband at home have iPods/MP3 players, compared to 9% who have dialup connections. Those who have broadband access at home and at work are the most likely of all to have iPods/MP3 players. Almost a third, 31%, of those with broadband access have iPods/MP3 players.

    Mr. Rainie said history shows once a product family catches on -- like cellular telephones, televisions and compact disc players -- growth takes off and grows into the high double digits.

    "Once technology reaches 10% or 11% penetration it moves to a different realm," Mr. Rainie commented. "It wouldnit surprise me at all if now that weive hit that magic 10% itipping pointi we see market penetration actually accelerate for a while."

    In terms of similar trends in electronics, Mr. Rainie said iPods and MP3 players are following the historic track of DVD, compact disc players and digital cameras "MP3 players are breaking out fairly quickly," he said. "Much quicker than bigger inventions such as the telephone, televisions or radio. It took a much longer time for any of those to impact 10% of the U.S. population compared to iPods or MP3 players."

    The nationwide phone survey was conducted between January 13 and February 9 and involved 2,201 people. The margin of error was plus or minus 2%. Mr. Rainie told TMO the survey did not ask those using MP3 players what brand they owned.