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the selection of part of a total population of consumers or products whose behaviour or performance can be analysed, in order to make inferences about the behaviour or performance of the total population, without the difficulty and expense of undertaking a complete census of the whole population.

Samples may be chosen randomly, with every consumer or product in the population having an equal chance of being included. Random samples are most commonly used by firms in QUALITY CONTROL where they are used as a basis for selecting products, components or materials for quality testing.

Alternatively, samples may be chosen by dividing up the total population into a number of distinct sub-groups or strata, then selecting a proportionate number of consumers or products from each sub-group since this is quicker and cheaper than random sampling. In MARKETING RESEARCH and opinion polling, quota sampling is usually employed where interviewers select the particular consumers to be interviewed, choosing the numbers of these consumers in proportion to their occurrence in the total population.

Samples may be:

  1. cross-sectional, where sample observations are collected at a particular point in time, for example data on company sales and the incomes of consumers in the current year, embracing a wide range of different income groups, as a basis for investigating the relationship between sales and income;
  2. longitudinal, where sample observations are collected over a number of time periods, for example data on changes in company sales over a number of years and changes in consumer incomes over the same time periods, as a basis for investigating the relationship between sales and income. See STATISTICAL INFERENCES, QUESTIONNAIRE.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
In addition, digital music providers still have the option to obtain a voluntary license directly with a copyright owner or his/her representative; however, an administrative assessment fee may be due to MLC if the volume of such direct licenses is considered significant.
Hypothesis 2: Perceived playfulness will positively affect consumers' digital music purchase intentions.
The Digital Music Market Through the Lens of New Institutional Economics
And thus there is no end to the new arguments that come up, such as the one which argues that the greatest digital music consumers pay are the "pirates" themselves.
In addition to that,smartphone penetration and broadband boom is creating an attractive market for digital music. We understand this trend and adapt to provide the best experience for users."
The IFPI's annual digital music report concluded that global music revenue tumbled 4 percent to 15 billion dollars in 2013, after it witnessed a sharp drop in Japan, the New York Post reported.
The digital music player's built-in sport chip allows users to select a specific sport type and workout goal which can be easily tracked with the practical fitness tracker.
Geoff Taylor, boss of music trade association BPI, said: "The digital music revolution has made it easy to buy any song you like, instantly, for half the price of a coffee.
Transcend's brand new MP300 offers a staggering 15 hours of continuous music playback on a single charge of its integrated lithium polymer battery, making it an excellent value compared to digital music players of similar size and weight.
The BT Digital Music Awards recognises UK music artists who have embraced digital technology in an exceptional way plus pioneers in digital music including music artists, services, and companies.
Amazon unveiled a service in late March that allows users to store their digital music online and play it on a computer or an Android device.

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