At the start of the year, I had this jolly wheeze to examine what I buy and how I buy it. And somehow managed to keep it going for 6 months on Twitter.

But 6 months seemed a good time at which to stop the exercise. So here are the results:

What I Buy (by value)

CD                          67%

Vinyl                      17%

Download             10%

Cassette                  2%

Other                       4%

This isn’t that surprising to me – I like my physical product. The non-CD purchases are probably at their highest level for years as a number of bands abandon CDs in favour of vinyl – certainly for singles/EPs.

The downloads figure largely relates to my emusic sub although there have been other download purchases.

The ‘Other’ category relates to downloads plus something where the “something” is worth more than the music (e.g. a Randolph’s Leap mug for the 1 minute long download single ‘News’)

How I Buy (Physical only) (by value)

Online    63%

Retail     30%

Gig           6%

As I live in rural Fife, shops which sell new product are some distance from me so purchasing online has dominated my buying habits for many years.

But the latter two figures surprise me. The retail figure has undoubtedly been inflated by some HMV scavenging for back catalogue and I have been conscious that I’ve not been buying much at gigs – not least because I’ve often pre-ordered the LP even when attending album launches (e.g. Kid Canaveral, Birdhead and eagleowl). But normally I would expect the retail and gigs figures to be much closer in value but the other way round.

Breaking the 2 larger figures above down shows the following:

Online Purchases

From label                                           53%

From band                                          21%

From online retailer                         20.5%

From high street retailer online      5.5%

I don’t think I would have guessed that that would be the breakdown so that’s quite interesting for me. The good thing about this exercise is that, being the honest sort, it helped me significantly reduce my purchasing from tax dodging Amazon.

Types of High Street retailer

Chains   75%

Indie      25%

This is a disappointing figure for me but, I think, is atypical as I normally would rarely buy from HMV (which makes up the majority of the 75%). But the administration sale has  undoubtedly inflated that particular figure. Take out the impact of that sale though and the balance shifts to 2:1 in favour of the indies, a balance which I’m much more comfortable with.

The real shock for me with this exercise was the amount that I spent on music in the first half of 2013. I’ve said several times that this year has been a fantastic one for new records, so to some extent that would likely be reflected in an increase in purchases.

But the total amount spent has given me food for thought given that I rarely seem to get to know records to the extent that I’d like to – because there’s always something new to listen to.

But that sounds like another post …