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Global Economics

Mobile Music to Top Online by 2010


Good news for mobile operators' coffers - analysts are predicting that consumption of music over mobiles is soon to outstrip that of desktop-bound services which dominate today.

According to research from IDC, the US alone will see 50 million users generating more than $1bn by 2010, by which time 60 per cent of all handsets in the country will have music playing functionality.

Interestingly, the analysts predict the main user group won't be the traditionally tech-hungry youth but rather 25- to 44-year-olds who may be new to digital music.

Currently mobile music users number around half the total of PC music service users but IDC believes the phone-music fans could outnumber their desktop counterparts before the end of the decade.

While prices for wireless over-the-air downloads typically cost up to three times more than those bought over fixed lines, IDC predicts pricing for single track downloads bought on mobiles will settle at around $2 - twice the price of a song on iTunes.

A separate report from research company Informa Telecoms & Media predicts that all forms of mobile music, including ringtones and track downloads, will be worth $13bn by 2010.

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