Why Don’t Women Download?

In my corner of the world, the more accurate question should be, “Why don’t women buy mp3s?”

Because the smart chicks download for free. And win their mp3 players playing competitive touchscreen bar games.

The Guardian investigates, “Why is it that only 4% of legally downloaded music is being bought by women?” and actually includes this answer:

It does concern me that women don’t seem to take as much of an interest in music as men: I think a lot of female artists suffer for that.

This coming from a lady DJ who goes by JoJo de Freq.

Amanda, rev your engines.

via Culture Kitchen’s side o’ links.


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21 comments for “Why Don’t Women Download?

  1. p
    May 14, 2005 at 12:31 am

    I [stupidly] pay for my MP3s much to my friends’ dismay. I think it’s mostly out of laziness. I have no trouble with bootlegged MP3s if a friend downloads and burns them for me. But if I have to do it myself I find it easier to use iTunes.

  2. Kim
    May 14, 2005 at 8:49 am

    Women don’t download? Ohhhkay, then I’ll just blithely ignore the fact that perhaps 50% (maybe more) of all of my 3,000+ songs on my hard drive are downloaded songs. And not legally downloaded ones, either.

    I would have gladly have paid for a lot of the music in my collection, but a lot of it wasn’t (and still isn’t) easy to find via legal methods. Sure, the download sites boast “A Million Downloadable Tracks!” but if your taste runs the gamut from punk bands who only released a couple of regionally-distributed cd’s in the mid-90’s, to old-timey folk/traditional music, to pop, to opera, to foreign musicians whose cd’s aren’t released in the US, to local bands, to more mainstream stuff, like I do, it’s not easy to round out your music collection via legal methods. (By the way, if anyone wants to establish a music trade, or is looking for something, give me a holler, I might have what you’re looking for, and I’m always looking to trade songs with people….)

    Wait, someone’s at the door — wait, who’re these guys in black suits busting into my house? What do you mean, you’re from the RIAA? What’s with the baseball bat and ropes, fellas? HEY, WHERE ARE YOU TAKING MEeeee….?!

  3. May 14, 2005 at 9:01 am

    uhhmm, i don’t know where these statistics are coming from but:
    i am a woman
    i am an artist
    i download
    i blog
    i have 5 daughters
    they all blog
    and they all download often
    but, point taken, not on pay sites.
    two words: bittorrent

  4. May 14, 2005 at 11:05 am

    women buy less stuff than men because women have less money and are likely to have to be the sole support of a child, too. how freaken ridiculous.

    Kim-Yes, music trade. Let’s do it. I only have about 2000 songs, almost all downloaded, but that’s because I had to slow down to avoid overloading my hard drive. need an IPod or external hard drive so I can add my own gigantic CD collection.

    Actually we should set up a trading club, get some more people involved.

    this reminds me of a place i worked, where most of the guys were musicians and one of them was the organizer of a big local music festival and they always excluded me from conversations about music, because they assumed i didn’t know anything. one day i just casually interjected something and they all stared as if a monkey had spoken. it was the “wow, she’s actually smart!” thing except here it was “wow, she actually knows about music!”. assholes.

  5. May 14, 2005 at 11:23 am

    Alley Rat, I’ve read a ton in recent years that women who love music are often assumed to have gotten eclectic or “good” music tastes from their fashionable boyfriends. Magazines like BUST and Venus have mentioned this stupid phenomenon.

    There is a group of guys I know who talk music all the time (the most recent conversation I heard is whether or not Jimi Hendrix’s music reflected his personality — give me a break) and whenever I jump in I get treated with patronizing tones and kid gloves.

    “Isn’t it sweet when girls try to talk about music? Awwww.”

    Kim, I’d love to do a trade. I have a second hard drive for the stuff. Thus what I really need is my CD burner repaired (where’s my financial aid?).

    Madame L, with that set up I’d love to see your hard drive.

  6. May 14, 2005 at 11:24 am

    Well, women have less disposable income than men. And they are less likely to spend it on themselves. Duh.

    And like you said, they’re smart enough to use limewire.

  7. May 14, 2005 at 11:24 am

    Maybe I’ll set up a “Burn Your Own Damn Mixed CD” mp3 trade.

  8. Kim
    May 14, 2005 at 11:41 am

    Alley, Lauren, I’d love to trade with you guys! Uh-oh, does this mean that I actually have to get off of my back-end and actually make the database of my collection like I’ve been swearing to do for years? *laughs* Then it’d be easier for me to know what I’ve got, plus easier for fellow traders to find out what I have that they want….

    Alley Rat — A trading club sounds like a great idea! Maybe I should set up a multi-user blog or something on my Typepad account? I only have Typepad Plus, though, which means I’m technically not allowed to have guest posters — I’d have to give out my password. That’d be problematic, but then at the same time, I may be switching to Typepad Pro some time this coming month. Multi-user posting/editing, whee!

    Lauren: My music collection was what drove me to get a 2nd hard drive for my system, as well!

    This really could grow into something supernifty, if we picked this up and ran with it.

  9. May 14, 2005 at 12:32 pm

    Alley, et al.,

    I’m shocked by this kind of thing:

    There is a group of guys I know who talk music all the time (the most recent conversation I heard is whether or not Jimi Hendrix’s music reflected his personality — give me a break) and whenever I jump in I get treated with patronizing tones and kid gloves.

    “Isn’t it sweet when girls try to talk about music? Awwww.”

    My dad’s a musician, so I grew up around a lot of big time music snobs, and I never encountered this kind of overt sexism.

    I’ve found that the musically-inclined women I know have generally better tastes than me. Not as if that’s a difficult mountain to climb.

  10. Kim
    May 14, 2005 at 12:52 pm

    Oh, hey, an update — I’ll be upgading to Typepad Pro on the 27th, so if anyone wants to jump in on a music-trading blog/site, just let me know. :)

  11. May 14, 2005 at 2:15 pm

    okay, if this trading thing is going to happen, i’m gonna take the plunge and get that second hard drive.

    let’s do it!

    off now to ebay to look at hard drives. any recommendations, anyone? i have a mac.

  12. jam
    May 14, 2005 at 6:21 pm

    Ms. Lauren:

    what’s your thoughts concerning the relative pros & cons of Bearshare vs. Limewire – i’ve been using Limewire awhile now & find it… adequate, i guess is the word – i’ve gotten alot of good music out of it but the search function seems very primitive – it’s particularly annoying that one can only search via separate key words (i.e. if one searches for “Van Allen Belt” one then has to wade thru 100s of copies of Van Morrison’s Moondance) – and the categories of Title Author etc seem to be there just for show – does Bearshare offer better search options by any chance?

    funny… right now at Limewire the sample search graphic in the center of the page lists famous speeches by Malcolm X… ?

    i want to trade too!

  13. jam
    May 14, 2005 at 6:28 pm

    oh yeah, almost forgot: thanks for the links to various mp3 blogs – i’ll be checking them out – to return the favor:

    Fat Planet is a great mp3 blog featuring new international music

    & Number One Song in Heaven features alot of fun old skool funk, sould & disco

    also, We Funk is an excellent funk & hiphop radio show – & all the shows can be downloaded for free!

    have fun! anyone else have mp3 blogs they like?

  14. May 14, 2005 at 9:13 pm

    Psshaw! I didn’t build up to 10,100 mp3s without downloading. Actually, more than downloading, the library is my secret sweet stash. I live in a big city – the library has everything. I put CDs on hold online and then swing by my local branch once a week to pick stuff up and drop stuff off. I’ve ripped hundreds of library CDs into my computer.

    I’ve read a ton in recent years that women who love music are often assumed to have gotten eclectic or “good” music tastes from their fashionable boyfriends.

    That is truly a riot. I’ve introduced every boyfriend I’ve ever had to way more music than vice-versa. And I definitely get the same condescension/annoyance as many others mention here from men when it comes to music expertise or familiarity.

  15. May 14, 2005 at 9:27 pm

    Jam, I prefer BearShare by far. Check it out.

  16. May 14, 2005 at 9:40 pm

    Man…if I had any kind of decent hard drive, or money with which to improve on my current one, I would definitely have an interest in music trading. Alas, not so much. I will be checking out the Kim multi-blog, though. That will be fun.

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  18. Nazrafel
    May 15, 2005 at 1:33 pm

    Hey, Just want to say thanks for the limewire tip. I’ve always wanted to download (can’t afford anything else) and only recently purchased a computer with the necessary memory space. Was a little worried about finding a decent site that wouldn’t bundle a year’s supply of spyware in with the downloads. Downloaded Limewire and WOO-HOO!!!! Women don’t download my rear end! Since last night I have already downloaded/ripped nearly 5 gigs :). Color me happy. Thanks all! (any other DL sites you have to recommend would be appreciated :) )

  19. Nazrafel
    May 15, 2005 at 5:05 pm

    Just a question though. I am new to downloading and just getting used to this. I am having trouble getting the songs I download into my itunes music library. Can anyone help me out with this? thanks

  20. May 15, 2005 at 7:08 pm

    Well, as a female audiophile and music blogger, this is an issue close to my heart. I download and trade far more music than any man I know, legally and illegally.

  21. someone
    May 16, 2005 at 6:27 am

    Oh crap… my post was mercilessly deleted

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