Nearly eight out of 10 consumers are turning away from professional music reviews and looking online for guidance when buying CDs or downloads.
The latest Trust Index research from e-commerce firm Avail Intelligence said that many listeners are turning to online music stores or social networking sites for opinions on new albums or acts.
Recommendations made while browsing music stores such as iTunes or social networking applications such as I Like on Facebook proved popular for 40 per cent of respondents.
This was just pipped by the opinion of family, friends and other shoppers at 41 per cent of respondents.
Although the internet is proving a popular place for sharing music tastes, many are still divided on its effectiveness as a delivery platform.
Some 51 per cent of those surveyed said that they prefer to purchase CDs, compared with 25 per cent who opt for digital downloads.
The average spend on CDs is £9 per month, around 38 per cent higher than the equivalent spend on digital music.
"What this research shows is that today's consumer is more informed than ever and that personalisation will be critical for e-tailers looking to stand out," said Dr Rolf Elmer, chief executive at Avail Intelligence.
"Retailers need a robust e-commerce strategy that incorporates social merchandising techniques if they are to take advantage of the interplay among shoppers and increase average basket spend."
Elmer attributed some of this change to the increased use of social networks to launch new bands and the ease of communication and diversity of such sites.
"While demand for music CDs remains high, competition online is increasingly tough," said Elmer.
"Margins are being squeezed due to aggressive pricing strategies, so the ability to stand out in this crowded market will be essential for long-term survival."
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