Why Do Mac Owners Buy More Music? (AAPL)

Half of all Apple Macintosh owners bought music from online stores “like” iTunes last quarter, but only 16% of PC users did. So says consumer research firm NPD group this am.

Followup factoid: Mac users are slightly more likely to continue to buy CDs: 32 per cent of Mac users report purchasing buying a disc in the third quarter of 2007, compared to 28 per cent of PC users. NPD researcher Russ Crupnick says this second point helps “debunk the myth that digital music consumers stop buying music in CD
format”, but that’s silly — clearly all consumers are buying less music in CD format.

Meanwhile Russ doesn’t really try to explain why there’s a gap between iTunes purchases between Mac and PC users, chalking it up to a “cultural divide between Apple consumers and the rest of the computing world.” We can think of a more obvious answer: iTunes has been pre-installed on all Macs sold for the last four years, but not on PCs.

We use both platforms ourselves, and are hard pressed to explain why using one computer instead of another would make us more or less likely to pay for music. Obviously Apple’s iTunes store has a tighter integration on its own computers, but we’ve found paying for stuff on the Windows versions of iTunes to be painless as well. The obvious spike in our iTunes consumption pattern comes after we’ve bought an iPod (we’re on #2 in the last two years).

So: Are we missing something? Are Mac owners truly different then the PC herd? Let us know in comments below.

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