A new study by Forrester Research shows that 10% of mobile phone users use their device to listen to music, up from 5% a year ago. According to a summary of the study by Mediaweek, texting and emailing pictures were also up, while watching tv or videos was flat, and checking the stock market was down (I wonder why!) Specifically, it is the under 30 year olds (18 to 29) that are leading the way, 22% of them use their phones to listen to music while only 7% of the older demographic do the same.
It’s all good for Internet radio, as more and more people find their way to their favorite online station via their connected mobile device. Internet radio’s audience is growing rapidly as it becomes more and more ubiquitous.
While listening to music over mobile phones is surging, downloading songs from iTunes is not. Billboard reports that iTunes track sales are flat. So called “over the air downloads” from mobile devices are either not surging, or simply growing enough to keep pace with a drop off in downloads from computers.
Some online stations, such as Pandora, have seen strong music download sales and are enjoying the additional revenue that generates. Earlier this year they reported song download sales of a million a month with 20% of those happening from mobile devices. My guess is that – as in so many other ways – Pandora has figured out a way to make it easy and appealing for listeners to purchase music while listening to it on Pandora, while other online stations may be either not emphasizing it, or not offering it at all. Stations should make sure their mobile platform offers simple and immediate ways for listeners to purchase songs (and visit advertiser’s websites for that matter.) It just makes cents…