Thursday, June 15, 2006

IDC: Wireless Mobile Music Users Could Surpass Online Music Service Users by 2010

IDC is forecasting that "U.S. wireless music services will have over 50 million users and generate more than a billion dollars in revenue in 2010, just 5 years after appearing in late 2005."

Susan Kevorkian at IDC said, "Wireless OTA music services offer music fans a convenient source of music and bring the music industry new opportunities to reach consumers and drive revenue. Wireless music services are still in their infancy in the U.S., but are expected to quickly gain traction during the forecast period. By the end of this year, the number of U.S. OTA customers will be approximately half that of online music service users, but may surpass them by the end of the forecast period."

According to an IDC survey, "a total of 22% of respondents indicated that they would buy at least one track from their service provider within the first three months of availability, assuming they had an appropriate handset. Eight percent of respondents age 25-44 indicated they would buy four or more tracks." IDC believes this age group "could be the core base of wireless over-the-air service users, in particular those who may be new to digital music services."

IDC expected "music-enabled mobile phone shipments to reach nearly 60% of all handsets shipped in the U.S. by 2010," which will help drive adoption.

Lewis Ward at IDC added, "OTA mobile music storefronts are emerging as one of the most important new channels for fans to discover, purchase, and enjoy full-track music and related content. Key drivers for future growth include music-enabled handset penetration, deployment of broadband wireless networks, increased marketing efforts, bundling and cross-promotion of various music-related services, and driving flat-rate pricing schemes. IDC expects that OTA tracks at about $2.00 each will emerge as a sustainable price point as long as mobile storefronts are well-designed and offer a wide selection of music, and the music listening experience on the device is comparable to MP3 players."

Hmmm. I'm just not buying the $2 sustainable price point, when I can pay 50 percent less via the PC. Maybe if PCs weren't so prevalent in the U.S. this might have a chance....