SOURCE: M:Metrics

March 21, 2007 10:50 ET

M:Metrics: Mobile Music Usage Is Climbing, but Not All Musicphones Are Created Equal

Of All 220 Mobile Phones That Play Music in the UK, Ten Key Models Account for Almost Half of Mobile Music Consumption

SEATTLE, WA and LONDON -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 21, 2007 -- M:Metrics, the mobile market authority, today released for the first time its figures on the mobile music market. The firm found that ownership of musicphones (defined as phones that are capable of music storage and playback) is growing rapidly across the United States and Western Europe. The UK boasts the highest penetration of these devices, at 40 percent, followed by Germany (34 percent), Italy (32 percent), Spain (29 percent) and France (23 percent). While the United States lags these markets, with only 17 percent, or 33 million, of mobile subscribers owning a musicphone, it has shown impressive growth in the past year: a 385 percent increase from January 2006 to January 2007.

"There are plenty of musicphones which can play music, but a small handful of these, designed and marketed specifically for music playback, is accelerating awareness and interest in hybrid phone/music players," said Jen Wu, analyst, M:Metrics. "Predictably, music activity is considerably higher on music-focused phones: for example, 67 percent of Sony Ericsson W850i owners in the UK listen to sideloaded music on their phone, compared with only 28 percent of overall musicphone owners in the UK."

Music listening on key UK musicphones : Jan 2007
-----------------------------------------------------------------
                         % of handsets used
Device Model            for side-loaded music     Total UK owners
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sony Ericsson W850i             67%                   373,713
Sony Ericsson W810i             59%                   709,433
Sony Ericsson W800i             52%                   404,116
Nokia N80                       51%                   229,700
Nokia N73                       48%                   304,104
Sony Ericsson K800i             46%                   879,901
Sony Ericsson W300i             45%                   195,975
LG KG800 Chocolate              42%                   370,412
Samsung E900                    38%                   594,912
Sony Ericsson K750i             35%                   792,681

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of U.K. mobile
subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31
January, 2007, n= 15,225
Sideloading -- transferring music from a computer to a mobile device -- is the universally preferred source of music on mobile phones by a wide margin, compared to downloading music from carrier music stores in any of the markets M:Metrics measures. The percentage of total subscribers who sideloaded music onto their phones ranges from a high of 12.2 percent in the UK to 10 percent in Italy, 8.8 percent in Spain, 8.4 percent in Germany, 4.4 percent in France and 2.9 percent in the United States.
Mobile Music Consumption Comparison: January 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
% of mobile
subscribers              US       UK       DE       FR       ES       IT
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Listened to
 sideloaded music       2.9%     12.2%    8.4%     4.4%     8.8%     10.0%
Downloaded new
 songs from carrier
 music store            0.7%      2.7%    0.5%     0.5%     2.4%      1.3%

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of mobile subscribers.
Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31 January,
2007, n= 12,840 French, 15,301 German, 12,631 Italian, 13,039 Spanish,
15,225 UK and 30,567 US.
"There has been consumer experimentation with over-the-air, full-track downloads, but downloading music from carrier music stores has yet to make a significant impact," observed Wu. "The two main barriers to greater adoption of over-the-air music services -- accessibility and fair value -- are lesser issues with sideloaded music. The prevalence of sideloading, largely shaped by current usage and understanding of digital music players, shows that the perceived value in musicphones is still in the ability to make one's personal music collection portable, as opposed to a new acquisition point for music."

The substitution of standalone digital music players by musicphones is increasingly visible. M:Metrics found that 31 percent of those that use both a musicphone and a digital music player in the United States selected their musicphone as their primary music device, while 11 percent use both equally. Continued substitution can be expected, as almost a third of January phone sales in the United States were musicphones.

In the United States, users of standalone digital music players who also use a LG Chocolate or Motorola SLVR L7 to listen to music are 60 percent more likely than average to choose their phones as their primary music players.

M:Metrics applies trusted media measurement methodologies to assess the audience for mobile content and applications. As the world's most authoritative mobile market measurement firm, M:Metrics delivers the most accurate mobile market metrics through the world's largest monthly survey of mobile subscribers as well as automated data collection methodologies. Below are the findings of its January Benchmark Survey.

French Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: January 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Activity                        Subscribers (1000s)    Percent    % Change
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sent Text Message                     32,021            73.6%         1.6%
Used Photo Messaging                   9,356            21.5%         2.5%
Browsed News and Information           3,245             7.5%        -1.9%
Used Personal E-Mail                   2,746             6.3%         0.7%
Purchased Ringtone                     2,299             5.3%         2.3%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger          1,414             3.3%         4.5%
Used Work E-Mail                         997             2.3%         8.7%
Purchased Wallpaper or
 Screensaver                             977             2.2%         5.7%
Downloaded Mobile Game                   640             1.5%         9.2%

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of French mobile
subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31
January, 2007, n= 12,840



German Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: January 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Activity                        Subscribers (1000s)    Percent    % Change
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sent Text Message                     36,948            81.2%         0.2%
Used Photo Messaging                   9,112            20.0%        -3.4%
Used Personal E-Mail                   2,595             5.7%        -2.7%
Purchased Ringtone                     2,179             4.8%        -1.3%
Browsed News and Information           1,486             3.3%         0.8%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger          1,437             3.2%        -1.4%
Used Work E-Mail                       1,297             2.9%        -3.0%
Downloaded Mobile Game                 1,199             2.6%         5.2%
Purchased Wallpaper or
 Screensaver                             925             2.0%        -4.5%

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of German mobile
subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31
January, 2007, n= 15,301



Italian Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: January 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Activity                        Subscribers (1000s)    Percent    % Change
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sent Text Message                     37,404            86.0%        -0.5%
Used Photo Messaging                  14,046            32.3%         2.5%
Used Personal E-Mail                   3,989             9.2%        -1.8%
Browsed News and Information           2,872             6.6%        -5.7%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger          2,646             6.1%         0.5%
Purchased Ringtone                     2,360             5.4%        -7.6%
Used Work E-Mail                       2,035             4.7%        -1.0%
Downloaded Mobile Game                 1,573             3.6%         1.0%
Purchased Wallpaper or
 Screensaver                           1,302             3.0%        -4.9%

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of Italian mobile
subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31
January, 2007, n= 12,631



Spanish Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: January 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Activity                        Subscribers (1000s)    Percent    % Change
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sent Text Message                     26,720            86.2%         0.4%
Used Photo Messaging                   8,825            28.5%        -1.4%
Used Personal E-Mail                   2,637             8.5%        -4.8%
Purchased Ringtone                     2,236             7.2%        -4.6%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger          2,150             6.9%        -2.8%
Browsed News and Information           1,884             6.1%        -5.2%
Downloaded Mobile Game                 1,791             5.8%         3.4%
Used Work E-Mail                       1,614             5.2%        -3.6%
Purchased Wallpaper or
 Screensaver                             838             2.7%        -6.2%

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of Spanish mobile
subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31
January, 2007, n= 13,039



U.K. Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: January 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Activity                        Subscribers (1000s)    Percent    % Change
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sent Text Message                     37,970            86.3%         0.0%
Used Photo Messaging                  13,374            30.4%         0.3%
Browsed News and Information           6,346            14.4%        -0.6%
Used Personal E-Mail                   3,190             7.3%         0.7%
Downloaded Mobile Game                 2,411             5.5%        11.6%
Purchased Ringtone                     2,067             4.7%        -2.0%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger          1,866             4.2%         0.3%
Used Work E-Mail                       1,671             3.8%        -1.6%
Purchased Wallpaper or
 Screensaver                             905             2.1%         0.3%

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of U.K. mobile
subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31
January, 2007, n= 15,225



U.S. Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: January 2007
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Activity                        Subscribers (1000s)    Percent    % Change
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sent Text Message                     78,325            39.2%         2.5%
Used Photo Messaging                  29,416            14.7%        -0.2%
Browsed News and Information          20,585            10.3%         2.0%
Purchased Ringtone                    20,024            10.0%         5.0%
Used Personal E-Mail                  16,932             8.5%         0.0%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger         12,643             6.3%         1.2%
Used Work E-Mail                      10,187             5.1%         0.6%
Downloaded Mobile Game                 7,288             3.6%        -2.2%
Purchased Wallpaper or
 Screensaver                           6,903             3.5%         4.3%

Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright © 2006. Survey of U.S. mobile
subscribers. Data based on three-month moving average for period ending 31
January, 2007, n= 30,567
About M:Metrics

M:Metrics is the mobile market measurement authority. As the only research firm to measure the audience for mobile media, M:Metrics provides the most accurate metrics on actual mobile content consumption by applying trusted media measurement methodologies to the mobile market. M:Metrics' monthly syndicated data service gives clients the critical insights and intelligence required to inform smart business strategies and the competitive benchmarks needed to evaluate the performance of competitors and partners. M:Metrics is a private, venture-funded corporation headquartered in Seattle, with offices in San Francisco and London.

About M:Metrics Data

Based on continually refreshed samples of nationally representative mobile phone consumers, M:Metrics reports summarise market size, device reach, and key demographic and mobile phone usage characteristics.

The data presented here is drawn from an extensive survey questionnaire that collects specific device model and carrier subscription information from each month's sample of mobile phone subscribers, and also drills down into specific details related to current and past usage of various mobile phone applications and content. Data collected from each sample are statistically balanced and projected to the total national population of mobile phone subscribers.

Authorized Uses

Members of the press may cite research data or a portion of text provided that each is sourced to M:Metrics, for example, "Source: M:Metrics, Inc." or "According to M:Metrics, . . .". Copies of graphs, data tables or slides must include the following copyright notice affixed to all material: "Copyright © 2007, M:Metrics, Inc."

Contact Information

  • Contacts:

    UK
    Richard Fogg
    CompanyCare Communications
    Tel . +44 (0)118 939 5900
    Email Email Contact

    US
    Jaimee Minney
    M:Metrics
    Tel +1 206.757.1360
    Email Email Contact