A new report published today by Juniper Research forecasts that the number of mobile users who pay a monthly subscription for access to music catalogues, either via download or streaming, will reach 178 million by 2015, more than triple the number of users doing so in 2010.
In emerging markets, such as China and India, where subscriber penetration is growing quickly and the number of these subscribers with access to 3G networks is also increasing, subscribing to mobile music services will become increasingly popular, it says. India, in particular, is a strong market for music given its links to the Bollywood film industry.
Mobile Music Opportunities report author Daniel Ashdown argues: “While streaming is the buzz word in developed markets, we should not forget that it is in markets where a combination of a large population, rising mobile subscriber penetration, and developing economies that represent a golden opportunity for mobile music services. Subscription models offer affordable access to large catalogues of music, and a regular income for mobile operators such as China Mobile and Bharti Airtel.”
However, in other areas of mobile music, the story is much different. The ringtone market, which has been in decline for a number of years, will continue to do so. Mobile device users are increasingly finding that web-based services and even on-device apps can enable them to create their own ringtones – which negates the need to purchase ready-made ringtones.
Other key findings of the report are that:
· Ringback tones will remain largely a phenomena of the Chinese market
· The market for mobile music videos will grow steadily over the forecast period
· Mobile music, in general, will grow strongly – reaching $5.5 billion in 2015