Mobile users not using phones for music: study

Although consumers are purchasing music-enabled mobile phones, few are taking advantage of the music capabilities of their phones, according to a new study by JupiterResearch.

The study, “Mobile Music: Target Impulse Purchases and Purchasers for Over-The-Air Downloads,” says 5 percent of consumers report transferring digital songs from a PC onto their phone and 2 percent report downloading songs over the air.

Although 27.9 million U.S. consumers are expected to have music phones by the end of this year, the music functionality of the phones will remain underused.

The report also says carriers face hurdles such as resistance to initially high price points for over-the-air downloads, the prevalence of existing portable devices and compromises in device functionality to combine phone and music capabilities.

The study mentioned that Apple’s iPhone, which comes out later this week, will probably not serve as the catalyst for mass adoption of music phone capabilities.

The study suggests that the music industry must do more to drive usage, not just ownership, of music-enabled phones. Tapping into those consumers who buy music impulsively and integrating features such as mobile fan communities and song identifiers will be important in prompting consumers to incorporate music onto their phones.

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