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July 12, 2006


Tomi T Ahonen

Thanks Alan...

Yes, interesting little forecast by IDC - one of the biggest mobile telecoms industry analysts that is very reputable and accurate. I'd like to point out a couple of thoughts on this issue. First, remember this is a USA-specific forecast by IDC, so this is the "most unfavourable" possible market for mobile phone based MP3 music. America is dead-last (USA second-to-last, and Canada last) among industrialized countries in mobile phone adoption, at a miserable 70% (for contrast Western European average penetration is 105%; leading countries are past 125% per-capita mobile phone subscription penetration). But the USA is the country where iPods and iTunes were first launched. And the USA has of course the heavy internet and broadband internet penetration rates.

It should come as no surprise to readers of our blogsite, that countries like Japan and Korea already today earn much more from full-track MP3 music files sold direct to mobile phones than to MP3 players. In China, Japan and Korea there are more internet users via mobile phones than via PCs - and in Japan and Korea there are more users of high speed 3G mobile phones (and high-speed mobile data services), than broadband internet users.

So that 1 billion in revenues in 2010 is actually analyzing the laggard market. Nonetheless, I would hope that American content owners take notice. They are wasting their efforts if they build their strategies on the web, as already their heavy users - and the future users - are migrating their online behaviour to mobile phones.

We'll be writing much more about this. I am waiting for the Apple iPod numbers to come out for the second quarter of 2006, out in a few days, and will post about how the MP3 player market is doing. Meanwhile I've already collected several other fascinating studies and findings around music, online and mobile. Will be an intersting time for music.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

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