A report just out from market research company TNS suggests that mobiles are on track to replace stereos for listening to music.
The study, Global Tech Insight 2005, surveyed 6,800 adults aged 16-49 who own either a mobile phone, PDA or laptop and who access the Internet every week, across 15 countries, between 11 July and 15 August 2005. It found that 19% of all mobile phone owners listen to music on their phones, and that 13% of all mobile users use MP3 or digital music players on their phones daily or weekly. This rises to 18% among mobile users in the UK and to 26% among users in South Korea.
Places where mobile users like to listen to music on their phones include public transport (47%), waiting for an appointment or meeting (32%), and in bed (23%). More than a third (35%) of phone users globally chose mobile music as one of the five applications they would like to start using, or use more of in the future. Among the factors deterring mobile users from downloading more songs onto their phones are insufficient memory, poor quality of the listening experience and difficulties in downloading, compared to transferring music from other devices.
Says Hanis Harun, TNS Technology Regional Director for Asia Pacific:
"The TNS study confirms a significant interest in listening to music using mobile phones, with considerable potential for mobiles to take a greater share of the market in the future. Accessibility is still very much an issue, but usage, intensity and appeal are both high. Additionally mobile music appeals to a broad cross-section of consumers around the globe, with the main adoption drivers being lifestyle-related and a love for music.
"The pricing of downloads is still probably the greatest single barrier to encouraging more people to download and listen to songs on their phones. Other factors play a smaller part, including limitations of the capabilities of handsets and the time it takes to download. However, all the evidence points towards mobile music becoming increasingly competitive with personal digital music players such as iPods."