| 22 Sep 2023
Indians leads mobile music charge

It`s happening faster than you thought, and it`s happening right here.

If Asia is expected to lead the mobile music revolution, India appears to be right in the forefront of the charge. According to a report recently released by Soundbuzz, Indian consumers purchased more music on their mobile phones than they did physical music products like CDs and cassettes in the last few months. This trend is exploding, to the point where mobile music products will be purchased nine times more often than physical within the next 18-24 months, says the report.

The reason, the report says, is that while Asian countries have been trailing behind in the online revolution that`s sweeping the West, the region is experiencing an exploding mobile market, virtually dominated by consumers under the age of 30 who are generating and sharing content on a spectrum ranging from pure entertainment, to self projection, to self expression and self actualization.

Quoting IAMAI (Mobile Value Added Services in India, December 2006) figures, the Soundbuzz report says that Indian consumers now purchase more mobile than physical music on an annual basis as of the end of 2006, and will be purchasing almost nine times more mobile music than any other format by 2009. Almost 50 per cent of all music purchases in Asia in 2006 were digital ?“ online or mobile.

It also notes that the digital music sector here is dominated by mobile music ?“ mobile music accounted for 85 per cent of all digital music sales in the Asia-Pacific, highlighting the difference in digital music consumption habits between the US and the Asia-Pacific. Not surprisingly then, Asian music sales will continue to be driven by mobile music which will comprise 75 per cent of all music purchased by Asian consumers by 2009.

In what should be heartening news for the mobile industry here, the report says that whilst mature markets like Australia and the United States will see growing online music revenues at 1:1 online: mobile or greater, emerging markets like India will be virtually 100 per cent mobile music-oriented.

Soundbuzz CEO Sudhanshu Sarronwala bases his predictions on the psychographic trends he has observed - In the next 12 months, he says, 12 per cent of the worlds population will comprise of young singles in Asia who will command a purchasing power of about US$150 billion. This is a generation shaped by wealth, freedom and technology, and it appears to be embarking on a consumption spree that may rival that of the Western baby boomers. What should warm the cockles of both the mobile and music industries is his inference that the social networks of these youngsters are critical to them, but these networks are more likely to be accessed out of home and wirelessly via the only item they can truly call their own ?“ their mobile phones.

More than 60 per cent of young Indians possess their own mobile phone, on which they can stamp their tastes and desires without restraint and without the need to share. And these consumers have demonstrated they are willing to pay a premium for content that fulfills their needs, the Soundbuzz report notes.

Video, according to Sarronwala, is going to be a key driver in growing consumer uptake of mobile music, and other mobile content.A successful commercial business model will involve the licensing of this content and the development of delivery platforms so the content can easily reach consumers, he predicts.