Research firm TNS found that UK mobile owners would likely download up to 2.1 billion music tracks from mobile music providers. As it stands, legal music downloads is already at 1.5 billion in the UK.
Cellular-news reported TNS’s findings, that put Nokia and Sony Ericsson front and center in the mobile music marketplace. Nokia’s newly introduced ‘Comes with Music’ package which gives away song bundles with new phones will be made available from next month. Sony Ericsson’s just partnered with Omnifone to offer unlimited music downloads with its PlayNow plus service.
According to the study, over a quarter (26%) of consumers are interested in the offers. The numbers are pretty interesting: 45% of CD buyers in Britain say they would buy fewer CDs if they took up Nokia’s ‘Comes With Music’ package, while 47% of PC music downloaders would even reduce their PC music downloads. 38 percent of those currently downloading pirated music even say they expect to reduce illegal downloading after using Nokia’s service. That’s certainly music to record companies’ ears.
“This research clearly underscores the powerful latent consumer demand for mobile music availability – which if successfully fulfilled will transform the way that people buy music as well as reducing illegal downloads,” said Amy Cashman, Managing Director of TNS Technology.
Cashman did have her reservations, saying that execution of the means to meet customer demand has not always been ideal. She noted barriers against consumer take-up of digital music platforms such as incompatible file formats, download restrictions and lack of choice.
Nokia’s rumoured upcoming music phone, the Music Xpress 5800 would likely be positioned to take advantage of such a market, while Sony’s Walkman range has long been optimized for music playback. The irony is that digital download king, Apple, has less impressive music features on its much-hyped iPhone. But what about customers who might want to take those songs off their phones and their PCs? There’s still murky waters ahead for mobile music but what’s for sure, Apple’s digital download supremacy might just be coming to an end.