An interesting little quirk was revealed by comScore today, as it released some stats about mobile devices and music. It turns out that a lot of people are quite happy to play music on their mobile phones… but very few are happy to buy it.
What’s this now?
“Side-loading” is when you load music on to your mobile phone for playing later. I’ve done it myself, when I misplaced my iPod for a while. The Nexus One has an awesome little music player on it, and like many modern smartphones it has a 3.5mm socket for headphones. comScore reports that a lot of people use mobiles for playing side-loaded music
Things look less rosy when you check the non-side-loaded music. Over-the-air downloads are songs that are purchased and downloaded straight onto the phone through your data connection. According to comScore less than 5,000 people performed a direct-to-mobile download over the last month in the EU5.
Although, as you can see, it’s still much better than the same month last year.
What we think?
A hell of a lot of people listened to music on their computers before they regularly purchased music over the internet. The first, more important step, is to inform consumers that their mobile phones are good devices for listening to music on. And as you can see from the information above, that is well underway. More and more people are beginning to see their mobile phones as their primary music device. Direct-to-mobile downloads will follow from that, they won’t precede it.
And apart from anything else, this survey doesn’t account for streaming music services like Spotify or Rhapsody. A lot of people don’t download songs to their phones, because they can just stream them without taking up hard-drive space.