Music listenership on mobile phones ascends; India stands at 26%: TNS

MUMBAI: This news would sure come as music to the ears of mobile phone operators. According to a survey carried out by TNS, nearly 35 per cent (four in 10) of all mobile phone users globally chose mobile music as one of the top ranking applications they would like to start using, or use more of in the future.

What's more, in India 26 per cent mobile users desire for mobile music as compared to 19 per cent in the US. The highest numbers however, come from South Korea where 60 per cent of those surveyed preferred listening to music on their mobiles.

The findings of the Global Tech Insight 2005 reveal that mobile music is in the top slot as the mobile application with the greatest potential.



When it comes to actual usage of mobile phones to listen to music on, India at nine per cent of mobile owners, although not as high as world leaders South Korea (26 per cent) nevertheless maintains a lead on the US' just four per cent.

Regular (daily or weekly) usage of MP3 or Digital Music Player on Mobile Phones

Across the 15 countries worldwide covered by the TNS study, 13 per cent of all mobile users said that they use MP3 or digital music players on their phones daily or weekly.



The TNS study shows that amongst those mobile users already using their phone to listen to music, 16 per cent of all music they listen to daily is on their phones, compared with 15 per cent on a hi-fi or stereo system at home and just 10 per cent on a personal digital music player, such as an iPod.

Mobile and PDA music within total music consumption - % listening time in a day

Interestingly, many customers who listen to music on their phone also do so whilst at home in addition to 'on the go', with 23 per cent who say they listen to music on their mobile 'in bed', 'at home at weekends' (21 per cent) and 'at home before and after work' (16 per cent).

This is compared to nearly half (47 per cent) who listen to music on their mobiles on public transport, and 32 per cent 'while waiting for an appointment or meeting.'


The study also revealed that in spite of such clear demand, increased use of phones as mobile music devices is being stymied. Among those factors highlighted by the study as deterring mobile users from downloading more songs onto their phones are, 'insufficient memory', 'poor quality' of the listening experience and 'transferring music from other devices is easier than downloading.'

TNS Technology regional director Asia Pacific Hanis Harun said, "The TNS study confirms a significant interest in listening to music using mobile phones, with considerable potential for mobiles to take a greater share of the market in the future. Accessibility is still very much an issue, but usage, intensity and appeal are both high. Additionally mobile music appeals to a broad cross-section of consumers around the globe, with the main adoption drivers being lifestyle-related and a love for music."

"The pricing of downloads is still probably the greatest single barrier to encouraging more people to download and listen to songs on their phones. Other factors play a smaller part, including limitations of the capabilities of handsets and the time it takes to download. However, all the evidence points towards mobile music becoming increasingly competitive with personal digital music players such as iPods," he added.

Respondents also showed interest in either 'starting to use' or 'use more of' the following applications in the future: 'camera for photography' (34 per cent), 'SMS' (28 per cent), 'live radio' (25 per cent) and 'video camera' (24 per cent).

The Global Tech Insight 2005 surveyed 6,800 adults aged 16-49 who own either a mobile phone, PDA or laptop and who access the internet every week. The study was conducted in 15 countries globally between 11 July and 15 August 2005.

The countries included in the study were: Australia, Brazil (Sao Paulo, Rio de Jenairo), China (Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Ghuangzhou, Shenyang, Tianjin), France, Germany, Hong Kong, India (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai), Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Samara), Sweden, United Kingdom and USA.

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