How the music distribution picture shapes up for 2006

“New music services from Sprint in North America and mmO2 in the U.K. seem to be saddled with bizarre price points, and pressure from Apple’s iTunes and satellite radio may well prevent the Western mobile operators from emulating the smashing success of mobile music in Japan,” Tero Kuittinen writes for “Considering the runaway success of iTunes and the satellite radio boom fed by the Sirius-XM rivalry, the leading Western mobile operators have been curiously slow to address the music distribution market.”

“The battle between distribution channels is going to get bruising in 2006, because iTunes and satellite radio had a surprisingly hot year in 2005… not one, but two new breakout music distribution modes had a banner year. Apple will sell more than 20 million iPods in 2005 alone. Sirius and XM Radio combined will top 8 million subscribers by the end of 2005,” Kuittinen writes.

“These delivery modes are not identical with mobile music distribution, which boasts anywhere, anytime downloads of specific songs. iTunes is anchored to PC-Internet, and satellite music can offer a ton of variety, but not specific tracks,” Kuittinen writes. “But both iTunes and satellite radio are gobbling up consumer wallet- and mind-share at an alarming rate. There is a limit to how much consumers will allocate for music consumption each month — and the combination of iTunes and satellite is devouring much of that allotment before mobile music even gets off the ground… iTunes cost less than a buck a pop. A $13 dollar monthly fee for satellite radio access equals five songs downloaded via the Sprint service. If consumers begin to do some mental math, the high-cost mobile distribution of music becomes a very tough concept to sell.”

Full article here.

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Music industry alarmed as online digital music sales level off – November 01, 2005


  1. “If consumers begin to do some mental math, the high-cost mobile distribution of music becomes a very tough concept to sell.”

    And if the recording industry is alarmed at the leveling off of paid-for music downloads now, the price points they are pushing for mobile phones and iTMS, et al, makes no sense at all.

  2. I change phones every year or two like most people. Where does that music go once you switch phones? Gone?
    Sounds like a bad model anyway. I don’t want to have a few songs on my phone (especially at $2.50 apiece! I want to have several thousand on my iPod/Home Computer (Mac, of course).

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