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Pop Goes Digital 2006-03-29

Posted by clype in Gizmo, Statistics.

More people than ever are downloading music on their cellphones, new data suggests.

Nearly seven per cent of all chart music bought this year has been downloaded through a mobile service, according to 'The Official UK Charts Company' (OCC). That represents nearly 70 000 chart singles bought every week by people on the move. Users of the 3G network '3' account for more than half the total sales. The rest are made up by customers from the'Vodafone' and 'Orange' networks.

Chart influence:

The mobile music business, including ringtones, is now thought to be worth 3 200 million GBP. Its growth reflects the continuing trend away from traditional music formats like Compact Discs (CDs) and Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs). Consultants, 'Deloitte' predict that by the end of 2006 a fifth of all music sales will be made digitally. These music purchases were first recognised in an official download chart in 2004-09. Since 2005-04 all downloads of chart music contribute to a new combined singles chart that includes 'The UK top 40'.

This week, 'Crazy' by 'Gnarls Barkley' was tipped to make history by being the first UK number one single based on digital download sales alone. Other bands and artists hoping to appear on 'BBC Radio One's' 'Top Forty Show' can now rely on nearly 30 000 mobile downloads to get them into the 'charts'. Mr.Graeme Oxby, marketing director of '3', said the figures show how cellphone users are now influencing the music industry. 'Their choices have as much impact on the charts as a traditional music store' he said.

New services:

However, the consumption by mobile music fans is still relatively small compared to downloads from the web through services like 'iTunes' and 'Napster'. People buying music off the Internet still account for 86 per cent of all legal digital downloads of chart music. The numbers are released in the same week that 'Vodafone' customers gained access to a new service that will allow them to download individual tracks at a fixed cost.

Until now consumers without 3G had to effectively pay twice for any download: once for the track and once for the cost of delivering the data to their mobile, increasing the cost of a track by up to 8.00 GBP. The new service will offer singles for a flat fee of 1.50 GBP. Network operator 'Orange' is expected to offer a similar service very soon.



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