September 12, 2006
When it comes to a groove, the UK is, according to analyst M:Metrics, more willing to get down on a mobile device than anywhere else in Western Europe or the US,
The measurement firm found that the UK boasts the highest percentage of mobile subscribers who used their mobile device as a music player in the month of July. At three per cent, the volume of British mobile music consumers is higher than the Spanish (2.8 per cent), U.S. (0.7 per cent), French (0.6 per cent) and German (1.4 per cent) audiences.
“A significant barrier to mobile music consumption is the dearth of devices that support the activity,” said Seamus McAteer, senior analyst, M:Metrics. “We are, however, seeing an influx of music-friendly devices on the market, with removable storage and better interfaces for accessing songs, as well as consumer education by the operators, all of which will foster growth in the sector.”
M:Metrics also reported its ringtone consumption data, which reveals that America has the healthiest market for ringtones, at 10.4 per cent penetration. In second place is Spain, at 8.9 per cent. Germany and France with 6.6 and 6.2 per cent, respectively, The UK came in with 5.4 per cent of subscribers reporting they downloaded a ringtone.
Ringbacks are also gaining popularity. Again, Spaniards have adopted this form of personalisation above all others at 9.7 per cent. Spain has a sizable margin over the US at 3.7 per cent.
Interestingly, M:Metrics disagrees with the assumption that the popularity of MP3 players or a rumoured ‘iPhone’ would threaten the market for mobile music. MP3 owners, particularly iPod owners, are as much as two times more likely to consume music related content than are other mobile subscribers, the firm said.
“The ringtone market is experiencing a significant shift,” said Paul Goode, senior analyst, Europe, for M:Metrics. “As mastertones supersede polyphonic tones, and short codes gain steam as a merchandising vehicle, the economics of the business will have to change. The availability of tools to make user-created ringtones more accessible to the masses poses an even greater threat to companies who can offer no additional value to a consumer who buys a ringtone in lieu of making one themselves.”
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