Mobile Music Subs to Triple by 2015

The number of mobile users who pay a monthly subscription for access to music catalogues, either via download or streaming, will reach 178m by 2015, more than triple the number of users doing so in 2010. That’s one of the key findings of a report, published today by Juniper Research.

The report, Mobile Music Opportunities, predicts that, in emerging markets, such as China and India, where subscriber penetration is growing quickly and the number of these subscribers with access to 3G networks is also increasing, subscribing to mobile music services will become increasingly popular. India, in particular, is a strong market for music, given its links to the Bollywood film industry.

“While streaming is the buzzword in developed markets, we should not forget that it is in markets where a combination of a large population, rising mobile subscriber penetration, and developing economies that represent a golden opportunity for mobile music services,” says report author, Daniel Ashdown. “Subscription models offer affordable access to large catalogues of music, and a regular income for mobile operators, such as China Mobile and Bharti Airtel.”

In other areas of mobile music, however, the story is different. The ringtone market, says Juniper, will continue the steady decline it has experienced in recent years. Mobile device users are increasingly finding that web-based services and even on-device apps can enable them to create their own ringtones, negating the the need to buy ready-made ringtones.

The report also finds that ringback tones will remain largely a phenomena of the Chinese market; that the market for mobile music videos will grow steadily over the forecast period; and that mobile music, in general, will grow strongly, reaching $5.5bn (£3.4bn) in 2015.

You can download a free Mobile Music whitepaper here. And you can find more information about the report here.