The UK music industry is an economic and cultural powerhouse, generating more income than traditional industries such as shipbuilding and chemicals, with the potential for enormous growth. The industry employs more than 100,000 people and is worth more than £1bn a year in exports alone. The under-25s continue to be the core market for pre-recorded music sales, with a sharp decline in sales among older age brackets. The growth in the UK population aged 15 to 19 will help consolidate the success of pop music, in particular boy and girl bands which dominate the charts. Ownership of CD hardware continues to rise at the expense of radio cassette players, while minidiscs and MP3 players are making an impact on the market. In terms of distribution, the music and video market is under pressure, with grocers creaming the market. There is a minor but growing proportion going to online retailers which may not be profitable yet, but are disruptive. Napster ­ the business offering free music downloads ­ was a small but significant influence in 2000. The MP3 format makes downloads from the internet an attractive alternative way of acquiring recorded music. In terms of consumer behaviour, almost a third of adults rarely buy pre-recorded music. Women are more likely to purchase music as a gift, with 28% in agreement, as opposed to 19% of men. {{P&P }}