The Death of the Audiophile

death-of-the-audiophile.jpgWe all know that our hobby and its supporting industry are not exactly booming. The the current recession has been particularly devastating.

A key challenge facing the industry is the lack of interest by younger adults, the new generation of listeners and buyers.

The latest CEpro/Electronics House survey of 30-something men drives this reality home.  (Be sure to review the slideshow as well.) The respondents were white-collar and tech-literate – the center of audio’s traditional target market.

As the article’s subtitle suggests, the respondents prefer content (and convenience) over reproduction importance.

Key points for audiophiles:

  • Only 14% of the young men considered themselves audiophiles
  • As many listen to music on clock radios/boom boxes as dedicated stereos (20% in each case)
  • 76% had not purchased a CD in the last year


If it’s any consolation, they didn’t care much about Blu-ray, HDTV, or universal remotes either.

And their likes…96% watch online video and 84% own iPods….

by Bob Walters

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 Audiophile, Bob

2 Comments to The Death of the Audiophile

  1. Interesting stats, although, I believe this isn’t the trend…

    for one, the audiophile should be broadened to include “women”. I’ll wager that if you add the women’s growth interest, that would be increasing.. at least, I’ve noticed it. Add to that, women now compromise more than 50% of electronic purchases (albeit small items) when it comes to audio. Another factor is broadening the term ‘audiophile’ to include the people listening on computers with headphones.

    While it’s probably true that the equipment isn’t being purchased in the same numbers, I’ve noticed a rapid increased interest in our 96kHz files internationally. Something is brewing.

    Also, lack of marketing (especially to women) is probably a factor. I’ve mentioned to many companies that if they viewed the woman purchaser the way the automobile industry did in the early 90′s, they would probably increase sales. With more men out of work because of the recession, this is probably more true than ever.

    I hate to break up the boy’s club, as much fun as it is for me to be one of the few women to enjoy all the company, but really, if we’re talking sales, LET’S MARKET TO THE WOMEN!!!!

  2. cookie-m on October 28th, 2009
  3. This shouldn’t be a surprise when you consider how uncommon great sounding live music has become.

  4. Bob Olhsson on April 25th, 2010