US punters don't want mobile music
Can pay, won't play
Punters in the US aren't interested in buying music on their phones, regardless of the price, says a new study from Jupiter Research.
In fact, only 14 per cent of those polled were interested in buying proper music via their mobile. Another 28 per cent are happy to purchase ringtones, but the remainder have no interest in mobile music at all.
Just over a fifth of US handsets are able to play back MP3s, according to the report, but US punters complain that operators are charging too much for music downloads as well as being too restrictive with their DRM.
In Europe the situation is likely to be different. US mobile phones are often seen as belonging to the network operator, but where GSM predominates the handset stays with the user, and is more likely to be considered personal property; not to mention a social hub for the group most associated with buying music.
It's not clear from the report what proportion of those MP3-capable handsets are in the hands of that young demographic who might be interested in the latest singles, rather than the middle-aged management more interested in ripping their extensive collection of 70s prog rock than downloading on the move.
The same research company also reports that, in Europe at least, the music download business will prove the saviour of the industry. It predicts the difference between mobile and desktop downloading will blur beyond distinction.
Subscription services would seem to be the obvious way to allay concerns about pricing, and linking them to a device removes any ambiguity about who owns what. It will also mean a future when being broke not only means eating beans, but doing so without a soundtrack. ®
The US Point-Of-View
Most of us that have mobile phones that can play back MP3s instead want to copy them from our already-extensive collections on our PCs (as opposed to downloading them a second time); at least that's how this US mobile phone user sees it. I already *have* the MP3, I'd rather not have to download it again, thank you very much. My biggest complain regarding MP3-capable mobile phones(whether GSM or CDMA or variants thereof) is that moving MP3s between PC and phone (especially from the PC to the phone) is difficult, if not impossible - and that the *phone*, not the PC, is often the culprit (lack of connectivity, even when both PC and phone support Bluetooth, due to the overly-restrictive Bluetooth profiles on mobile phones, is the biggest culprit).
Why buy twice?
The US consumers don't buy these songs for a bunch of reasons.
1. it costs me $2.99 to buy a song from the phone co., when it's 99c on iTunes, and I already have nearly 12,000 songs in my collection already.
2. the phone T-Mobile (US) sold me, a Motorola, has a media player built in. But has no standard headphone socket, and was sold with only a 128Mb microSD card. Playing music through the built in speaker isn't exactly what I'd call "hi-fi" quality.
3. Why would I want to burn through my battery listening to music when my phone is much more important.
Bottom line, the iPhone is the only example of a decent player that's worth buying stateside, and I don't want one since I don't wish to be locked into using AT&T's notorious customer service ever again.
No the phone co's don't own the phone, but it's subsidized until you finish your contract so you still owe them for ending a contract early. And since Sprint/Nextel and Verizon phones are locked into their proprietary formats (non-GSM), what use would it be to own the phone?
No we're just not suckers for throwing money away for a 3 minute fix. Doesn't help that the phone companies have been taking consumers to the cleaners forever either.
That's cos the whole system in the US
what a load of mis-information. i don't know how long you were in NY, or how many schools you visited, but the real number of school children who don't have mobiles is closer to 1-2%, rather than those that do have them. most schools in NY as well as elsewhere discourage the use of mobiles within the school.
you are correct in your observation that texting isn't a big thing in the states, not sure why, it just never took off.
also true that the pricing model could use some changes (paying for incoming as well as outgoing calls). actually, a quick perusal of any of the web sites of the various cellular carriers will show the large number of models available.
oddly enough many people in the states use telephones to make telephone calls and aren't interested in them for any other use. my experience in traveling and living/working throughtout the world is that kids in the states aren't as obsessed with music (if that's what it is) as kids are elsewhere.
not sure why you had trouble borrowing a changer for your Nokia, it's one of the most popular mobiles around, and just because a phone is a "branded" model, with the carriers name on it doesn't mean it doesn't work on any other network, assuming the proper sim and account - with the exception of the iPhone and the "pay as you go" phones, locked phones disappeared several years ago.