Four out of five independent music store customers cite a recommendation of a friend as being an important factor in a purchase, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Independent Music Stores (AIMS). The online survey queried 1,067 consumers from AIMS stores around the country about the spending habits, concert-going frequency and relationship with the stores. Seeing a live performance was also cited by 80% of those surveyed. Only 39% cited radio as being important in their purchase decisions while newspapers and television were cited by 16% and 15%, respectively.

More than three in five respondents said they visit an independent music store more than once a month. While they may be avid music buyers, 63% of those surveyed say they go to a concert either once a month or less often than once a month. Respondents most often go to medium-sized clubs (85%) and small clubs (76%). Less than 20% of respondents said they go to arena and amphitheater shows.

iTunes was by far the most popular digital store named by respondents, with 85% saying they have purchased music there. Amazon.com's MP3 store was second with 23% and eMusic was third at 14%. Insound got 6% of respondents and Lala and Rhapsody both got 5%. But most of the independent store customers surveyed - 65% of them - said they spend 10% or less of their total music spending at digital stores. Only 11% spend half or more of their total music spending at digital stores.

Seventy percent of respondents said they use YouTube, 62% use MySpace, 46% listen to Pandora and 32% have used Last.fm. Imeem came in at 7%, Playlist at 5% and both Qtrax and Spiral Frog (which had not yet gone under) claimed to be used by 0% of respondents (or so few of them that the figure was zero when rounded down).

Of those who read blogs or music Web sites, 78% said they have read Pitchfork while 44% cited RollingStone.com and 38% cited Stereogum. Other popular music blogs were Brooklyn Vegan (28%), My Old Kentucky Blog (23%) and Largehearted Boy (14%).