According to the “Outlook for the Global Mobile Music Market, 2005-2010” report, just released by Gartner Dataquest, worldwide mobile phone users spent $13.7 billion to have music delivered to their handsets, and that figure will rise to $32.2 billion by 2010.
Mobile music, which includes everything from ringtones, realtones and ringback tones to full-track downloads and streaming, is the second most popular mobile data service — although it is considerably behind short message service (SMS) in both usage and revenues.
Now where streaming falls in that priority list is unclear, but its importance will only grow over time.
Like it or not, the phone will be the new portable radio, even as the definition of “portable radio” ebbs and flows.
Just remember, right now consumers feel that radio isn’t portable at all. So this might actually be a growth opportunity – but only if you have the streaming capacity and if you have the right partner deals in place.
In the mobile radio landscape of tomorrow, clout matters.
Postscript: Marketing guru Tom Asacker reminds me that it is inevitable that these music-playing phones will drop right into a port in the car and sync with the speakers. And when that happens, you have radio without satellite, radio without HD, maybe radio without radio.
If you’re depending on the “best mix” you’re in trouble. If, instead, you’re building a brand worth seeking out and full of unique aspects – and you’re doing it in the context of media deals that provide access to the mobile platform – then the future is bright.
Why is the radio industry not talking about this obvious future?