Amid growing consumer interest in PC-based music downloading and the expanding availability of mobile entertainment options, new research from global marketing research firm Ipsos- Insight shows that an increasing proportion of Americans are using their mobile phones to download ringtones and are beginning to sample other mobile entertainment content.
Findings from the latest edition of TEMPO, Ipsos Insight's quarterly study of digital music behaviors since 2002, reveal that nearly one-quarter (23%) of American mobile phone owners have downloaded ringtones to their mobile phones.
This translates into approximately 30 million Americans within the current U.S. population, and marks a large increase over the past 12 months, when only 5% of mobile phone owners had downloaded ringtones.
According to the findings in the research, young Americans are not surprisingly the most prolific ringtone downloaders, with half of 12- to 24-year-old mobile phone owners reporting they have done so (52%, 12-17 and 49%, 18-24).
The research reveals that older Americans are also experimenting with ringtones; 30% of 25-34 year olds, 17% of 35-54 year olds, and 5% of Americans aged 55 and older having downloaded ringtones to their mobile phone.
"In the past 12 months, we have witnessed an incredible surge in many digital music behaviors, including paid PC-based music downloads and sizable growth in portable MP3 player ownership. What we're now witnessing in the mobile arena is similar to what has already occurred in many places outside the U.S., and represents yet another opportunity for industries looking to monetize U.S.-based digital music distribution. Through a combination of increased ringtone availability and the desire to personalize one's mobile phone with their favorite or the most popular rings, the growth in this already burgeoning industry will likely continue unabated," said Matt Kleinschmit, a vice president with Ipsos Insight, and author of the TEMPO study.