updated 04:00 pm EDT, Mon April 3, 2006
iPod users turn mobile
iPod owners are more likely to listen to music on their mobile phones, according to a new survey. M:Metrics today released data from its February 2006 Benchmark survey that showed that owners of portable music devices -- especially owners of the Apple iPod -- are more than twice as likely than average mobile subscribers to use music and video applications on their mobile phone. In addition, owners of such devices, including Apple's popular iPod, express a willingness to pay for such services in the future. While just under 15 percent of mobile phone users own an iPod, they account for nearly 30 percent of those who reported listening to music on their mobile phones and 30 percent of those who watched video on their phone. Additionally, owners of portable music devices were almost three times more likely than the average mobile subscriber to transfer music from their computer to their mobile phone.
Specifically, owners of iPods were more likely than owners of other portable media devices to turn to their mobile phone for music and video.
"This data indicates that digital media consumers want to access their media from their phones, across a multitude of platforms," said M:Metrics analyst Mark Donovan. "There is clearly demand for converged mobile devices among those who lead a digital lifestyle to enhance, not necessarily replace, their existing digital media devices."
Trends won't destroy media player market
In addition, Donovan said that the trends toward using mobile phones as a music/video player will likely not cut into the MP3 player market. He used the example of camera phones to illustrate his point: "Nokia has become the world's largest manufacturer of digital cameras, but camera phones haven't destroyed demand for dedicated digital cameras. In a similar fashion, mobile music and video capabilities will become ubiquitous but are unlikely to 'kill the iPod.'"
Usage of mobile video services are also more common among iPod owners than the industry average. Users with a portable media player device are more than twice as likely to watch live or streaming video, download a short video clip or watch mobile video. iPod owners, who accounted for nearly half those mobile phone owners that own a portable media player, were 14 percent more likely to watch mobile video (30.4 percent versus 26.6 percent for other), and 17 percent more likely to transfer music from a PC to a mobile phone.
iPod owners share, willing to pay
In addition, iPod owners are twice as likely to share a mobile video, either by sending it to a phone or to an e-mail address. M:Metrics also found that 15 percent of iPod owners said they were likely to pay for a mobile music service in the next year, compared to a market average of nine percent. Eleven percent said they would pay to download video clips, versus 6.5 percent.
"Consumers' willingness to pay for mobile media presents a substantial market opportunity for converged digital media services," said Donovan. "Companies that are developing digital media distribution businesses could see real profit from a sound mobile music strategy."
The survey was based on results from the U.S, the U.K. and Germany.