The increasing popularity of full-track downloads and ring-back tones will help push mobile music revenues to more than US$9.3 billion by 2009, according to a new report from Juniper Research (‘Mobile Music: Ringtones, Ring-backs & Full-tracks (second edition)’)
While the downloads of mobile ringtones and realtones will comprise the bulk of revenues (US$4.8 billion), the market for full-track downloads is expected to increase from just US$20 million in 2004 to nearly US$1.8 billion in 2009, while ring-back tones – already generating substantial revenues in Asia – should be worth US$2.7 billion worldwide by the end of the decade.
According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “Last year we saw the major network operators and players taking the first tentative steps towards the mass distribution of master recordings via mobile handsets. This year the operators are substantially increasing their catalogues as more labels come on board, while the vendors are producing more handsets with integrated music players.”
Dr Holden added that it was likely that ring-back tones would generate the majority of their revenues amongst fashion-conscious teenagers and young adults.
“By subscribing, they can demonstrate to their callers (usually their peer group) that they are keeping up with the musical times by having the latest number one on their ring-back tone as well as their ringtone,” he said.
The report also shows that the total value of global mobile music market will rise by 39% in 2005 to nearly US$5 billion. Europe is expected to lead revenue growth in short term, to be overhauled once more by Asia-Pacific revenues by 2007. The current sixty million ring-back tone subscribers worldwide in 2005, should rise to more than 300 million in 2009.