How Does Your Brain Score? Take the Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment

Boometrics Studies Music


Contact: AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560,

More than 70 percent of the 76 million baby boomers in the U.S. report buying music in the past year, making it the most important buying segment for CDs and an increasingly important market for digital downloads, according to a new study. Consumer surveys focusing on music purchasing habits of baby boomers were conducted by The NPD Group for the "Boometrics" study, on behalf of National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) and AARP.

"While the recording industry struggles with piracy and sharing among younger consumers, there's at least one group with the income and inclination to pay for music," said Russ Crupnick, entertainment industry analyst for The NPD Group. "Most baby boomers are still buying only CDs, but many have also begun to add digital tracks and subscriptions to their music-buying mix."

The report clearly refutes common assumptions that interest in music wanes among a more mature audience. In fact, baby boomers (born between 1941 and 1964) now account for a third of all music sales. Additional highlights from the survey include the following:

  • When purchasing music, more than two-thirds of boomers (68 percent) purchase only CDs, but 26 percent purchase both digital music and CDs, while just 6 percent purchase only digital music downloads.
  • Nearly 40 percent of boomers report that they regularly visit the music retailers or the music section of retail stores.
  • Most baby boomers surveyed listen to music while driving, and nearly half of the respondents expressed interest in buying new compilations from their favorite artists or genre.

"Music is central to the lives of a majority of baby boomers; however, like anybody else, they can become complacent, given all the music that surrounds them," said Jim Donio, NARM President. "This report proves that there is an increased need and urgency for the music industry to improve the way it communicates, merchandises, and markets to this age group. I believe that the retail community, in conjunction with the labels, can play a large part in shifting these perceptions, revitalizing music sales among those boomers who are not currently purchasing, and helping current purchasers discover even more music product."

NPD projects that improvements in available product and support for boomer buyers could yield conservatively $700 million to $1 billion in potential incremental sales of both CDs and digital downloads from baby boomers.

"The buying power of these consumers must be respected and their wants and needs must be understood and addressed by the industry," said Emilio Pardo, Chief Brand Officer, AARP. "This report goes a long way to show just how much the music industry depends on the baby boomer consumer. They are deeply connected to the music they grew up with, continually seek new artists, and are open to the latest digital delivery channels. The industry would do well to keep boomers top-of-mind when it comes to the music that makes its way to retail outlets - both brick-and-mortar and online."

Search Press Center


If you are an AARP member and not with the press, call 1-888-OUR-AARP or email


For media inquiries, please contact the AARP Media Relations Office at (202) 434-2560 or


Facebook: AARP Media Relations

Twitter: @aarpmedia

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.


Member Benefits AT&T Wireless Cell Phone

Members save 10% on the monthly service charge of qualified AT&T wireless plans.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $9.50 for Regal ePremiere Tickets purchased online.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members earn points on select Walgreens-brand health and wellness products.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.