Come 2010, Europeans will be downloading almost five times more music on to their mobile phones, predicts Generator, a European research provider. According to Generator, Europeans will spend $640 million in 2010 downloading full-track songs to their mobile phones.
With the expenditure on real music ringtones forecast to be an additional $1.2 billion, mobiles will account for $1.8 billion or 15% of total music sales by 2010, compared with just 3.4% in 2005.
Much of the growth in full-track downloads will come from music brands and third-party content providers reaching mobile users directly, the current crop of mobile operator-provided download services will change dramatically as the market develops.
“Music fans will soon be able to buy music phones that are as good as many digital music players and they will be able to use their phones to buy songs and enjoy music services provided by familiar music and mobile brands,” says Andrew Sheehy, Research Director at Generator.
The report identifies two different full-track mobile download markets: one for serious, permanent music and a second for novelty, disposable music. Digital music players will loose some market share to music phones across the board but the overall market for music devices and downloads will increase.
In total, the report finds that full-length mobile downloads, real music ringtones and online music will account for 39% of music industry sales by 2010, up from 4.4% in 2005.