Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Parks Associates: China and South Korea Show Mature Markets for MP3 Players

Parks Associates has issued new research that finds "the markets for MP3 players in China and South Korea, with nearly 80% of future purchases coming from existing owners, have matured more quickly than those in the rest of the world."

Among online populations in China and South Korea, "more than three-fourths of consumers who plan to purchase an MP3 player in the next 12 months already own one. In contrast, among future owners in other countries, 70% in the U.K., 67% in Germany, 66% in Japan, and 58% in France do not currently have an MP3 player. U.S. intenders are equally split between owners and first-time buyers."

Harry Wang at Parks Associates said, "The MP3 player markets in China and South Korea hit the replacement/additional purchase stage faster than the rest of the world. Higher penetration rates and the popularity of less-expensive flash-based devices both contributed to this phenomenon.”

Wang added, "These findings call for different approaches in marketing to these areas. In Western Europe and Japan, where first-time buyers drive the MP3 market, vendors must educate consumers and build brand awareness. In China and South Korea, vendors should work to discourage brand switching as well as offer product features that are uniquely appealing to these consumers."