Downloads, While Waning, Are Far From Dead

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Recent numbers from the RIAA point to the death of the download, at least in the U.S. Despite that trend, though, 45.95 percent of consumers asked in a recent survey said they are "more likely to download content." That statistic comes from a new report by Limelight Networks -- the content delivery company that first supported Netflix's streaming service in the late aughts -- which surveyed 1,136 consumers this past February and that outlines how people view, and use, downloads in an increasingly streamed media world.

Limelight found music to be the second-most downloaded media category (14.46 percent), behind movies and/or television (16.88 percent). Music was downloaded daily by 14.46 percent of respondents, just behind the 16.88 percent of respondents who download television and/or movies every day. Those two rankings remained the same when applied to those who primarily use their mobile device to download content -- 23.48 percent downloaded music daily and 24.02 percent downloaded television and/or movies daily.

Another notable finding from the study found that, for frequency of media consumption, mobile devices have inched ahead of personal computers. Tablets came in third, with wearables coming in last in terms of usage frequency.

Not surprisingly, the three companies which offer the most robust media catalogs -- Apple via iTunes, Amazon and Google via its Play product -- were the most used. In an upset, however, Google was significantly ahead of Apple and Amazon, with 19.38 percent of respondents using Play daily. Apple captured 12.1 percent and Amazon 9.35 percent.

Those companies also have their own devices -- and Google wins there as well, with Android in a notable lead (27.86 percent), followed by Windows computers (23.83 percent), iPhones (22.92 percent), iPads (14.6 percent) then Android tablets (12.72 percent). Apple computers came in behind video game consoles, with 6.93 percent compared to Sony Playstation's 7.37 percent and Microsoft's Xbox at 7.26 percent.

Of course, most don't like to pay. The vast majority of respondents, actually; 45.47 percent of those asked said, specifically regarding music, that they "only download it if it is free." Of that, 11.19 percent said they "have no problem downloading pirated content." However, that's good news when considering music had the second-lowest percentage of all media categories put to that question; 51.95 percent, for example, said they only download movies and/or television if it's free. Of the demographics surveyed, millennials were the most likely to pirate music -- grabbing free content at a rate of18.81 percent versus 6.93 percent of other demos.