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U.S. Adoption of Mobile Phone Music Service

Amid continued growth in portable MP3 player ownership and steady sales of PC-based individual song downloads, mobile music services offered by many of the major wireless carriers have given American music consumers yet another option to consider.

Recent research by Ipsos reveals that Americans are 'experimenting' with this mobile download method of music acquisition. However, while most consumers are very 'aware' of the wireless phone service provider music delivery offerings, only a few are actively adopting this option.

Perhaps this scenario is the result of U.S. mobile providers applying a similar market development approach that they previously used for their SMS offerings -- where the service adoption grew at a much slower rate than the leading mobile markets in both Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Ipsos recent study findings include:

- Only four percent of American mobile phone owners aged 12 and older have downloaded full digital music songs over-the-air in the past 30 days -- and yet, this doubles the adoption seen in 2005.

- Males are twice as likely as females to have ever downloaded full songs (6 percent versus 3 percent). Teens are the most likely to have ever done so (11 percent), with younger adults 18 to 34 being the next most likely (8 percent among 18 to 24 year olds and 7 percent among those 25 to 34).

- 71 percent of American mobile phone owners are 'aware' of mobile/wireless phones that would allow them to download and play entire songs rather than just ringtones.

- 14 percent of American mobile phone owners report that they have a mobile phone with full-song download and playback capability.

- When drilling down among mobile phone owners who have also downloaded digital music to their computers, the number of people with mobile music phones rises to one-third, and the number who have 'ever' downloaded full songs more than doubles -- to 10 percent.

- On average, these over-the-Air (OTA) mobile music downloaders have approximately six tracks stored on their mobile phones, which is similar to the number of ringtones stored.

- Among those with mobile phones, 27 percent have downloaded ringtones and 9 percent have done so in the past 30 days, returning to levels experienced in early 2005 after declines in recent quarters. Five percent have downloaded ringbacks -- 3 percent in the past 30 days.

- When considering overall spending on mobile music, including ringtones, full songs and ringbacks, the average 'active' mobile music downloader spent roughly $7.00 in total during the past month.

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