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Phone makers better positioned to capitalise on mobile music than operators

20 мая 2010

Handset makers are in a stronger position than operators to capitalise on rising mobile music uptake, said comScore on Wednesday.

"Operators are limited by the number of customers on their network whereas OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are only limited by the penetration of their device," explained Alistair Hill, senior analyst at comScore.

"Don't rule the operators out, but they don't have the same scale advantage as OEMs," he told Total Telecom.

Hill made his comments ahead of new figures published by comScore that reveal the number of mobile users across the EU5 (U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Italy) markets listening to music on their handsets reached 54 million during the quarter ended March 2010, up 10% from a year earlier.

The market research firm said the figure represents 23.8% of total mobile customers in those markets, compared to just 13.2% of mobile users in the U.S. who listen to music on their phones.

However, according to comScore, the number of mobile users in the EU5 markets who have downloaded music directly to their handset reached around 4.3 million in March 2010 – up 62% on year – but still just 1.9% of total mobile customers.

Apple bucked this trend: 21% of iPhone users download music directly to their device, thanks largely to Apple's popular iTunes service, said Hill.

"Around 10% of Android users are downloading music to their phones, so it's lagging behind [Apple]," said Hill.

He commented that Android does not have the same association with music that Apple and iTunes does, and lacks its own dedicated music store.

With such a small proportion of consumers downloading music to their handsets, despite surging data use, Hill said there is still a sizeable opportunity around mobile music."

"Mobile is the natural channel for selling music to consumers," said Hill.

"We found that people who listen to music on their phones are also more likely to browse the Internet and a large proportion of these consumers now own smartphones, which make it a lot easier to buy music and provides a better platform for advertisers," he explained.

Mobile as a platform is also less susceptible to fraud, said Hill.

"Only 5% of people – and this is skewed heavily towards young people – who are using mobile music are [illegally] sharing it... Mobile works in music companies' favour," he said.

On that note, Hill said record labels stand to make the most money from mobile music services, but have so far failed to effectively exploit this area of the market.

"The growth in smartphones, mobile browsing and advertising means mobile music now represents a significant revenue opportunity," he said.

"Music companies need to wake up to this opportunity."

Источник: Total Telecom

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