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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
US surge in internet music downloads
Paul McCartney, right, is surrounded by fans as he leaves the CNN studios in LA on 12 June
McCartney: His fame does may not be as widespread as thought
One in 20 Americans have replaced record shops with the internet while one in 10 have never heard of Sir Paul McCartney, a survey of US music tastes has said.

The poll found that 9% of 16 to 40 year olds did not know who the former Beatle is.

And the biggest fans of pop stars like Britney Spears and 'N Sync are those in the 35 to 40 age range, rather than younger listeners.

Britney Spears
Britney is "more popular" among 35 to 40-year-olds
More than 5% of those surveyed used the internet to listen to music but have not bought a CD in the last year, according to Edison Media Research.

Sir Paul has recently been in America campaigning against the use of landmines and promoting his book of poetry and lyrics Blackbirds Singing.

He appeared on CNN's Larry King Live on 12 June.

The survey, for US trade magazine Records & Radio, was aimed at finding out what effect the internet is having on music sales and how it is changing listening habits.

Radio's influence

Larry Rosin, president and founder of Emerson Media, said there had been "little quantification" of the impact of the internet up until their survey.

Records & Radio editor-in-chief Ron Rodrigues said they hoped to find out whether music buyers are being influenced by radio as much as in the past.

A decline in radio listening among young people was put down to the rise of the internet.

"There's been a slight dent in teen [radio] listening at home, and I assume it's due to internet," Rodrigues said.

Those over 25 "don't get" hip-hop
But radio still beats TV and the internet as the most popular medium among 12 to 24-year-olds.

They spend an average of more than two hours and 43 listening to the radio, which is seven minutes longer than they spend watching TV.

It is also considerably more than the hour spent on the internet and just 17 minutes reading newspapers.

One in three in the same age group have "burned" their own CD - or made a CD copy of music from the internet or other CDs.

And two thirds have spent time listening to audio from the internet.

A generational gap in music tastes was also uncovered - hip-hop and rap are favourites of under-25 year olds, while older music fans "don't get it at all".

That split poses a challenge for most radio stations, which are broadly targeted at those between 18 and 34, Emerson Media Research said.

They told radio stations that they need to actively woo young listeners to survive.

Records & Radio's annual conference began in Los Angeles on 14 June.

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See also:

21 Mar 01 | Arts
Poetic McCartney takes a bow
26 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Napster blamed for CD singles slump
05 Jun 01 | Music
CD download deal for EMI
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