A study by Nielsen/NetRatings revealed that rap music is the top genre downloaded on retail and e-commerce Web sites. The study also shows that downloaders are 111% more likely to purchase the titles than the rap fans that dont download.
The study surveyed 36,000 Internet users aged 18 and older and concluded 22% of the active Internet population, had downloaded music in the prior 30 days. Of those, 71% had purchased music from either e-commerce sites or traditional retail in the prior three months.
After rap, the most popular genre downloaded was dance/club followed by alternative rock, R&B, rock and top 40.
With record companies suffering from sluggish sales and slashing staff to offset decreasing profits, many suggest online retail outlets as an alternative to combat free peer-to-peer file-sharing networks such as Kazaa.
Apple Music recently launched an aggressive campaign for their new download service, which features an abundant array of artists to select songs from for just 99 cents a song.
Greg Bloom, a senior Internet analyst with Nielson/NetRating, told Reuters he believes it make take some time before buying music directly online will replace going to an actual record store, but researching the preference of music downloaded will help lead the way for the evolution of the music buying process.
"The de facto standard may be a few years away, but understanding the genres of music that sell well online and offline will be crucial to generating revenue along the way."