Revenue from mobile music is set to reach $5.5 billion by 2015, despite a growing threat by online piracy, according to a new report.The report, by Juniper Research, forecasts that music consumed on mobile handsets will generate $5.5 billion in 2015, a rise of $3.1 billion from 2010.
According to the study, the digital music sector is increasingly being propped up by mobile platforms, which has been hit by over a decade of widespread online piracy.
P2P file sharing resulted in the music industry’s sales plummeting, as consumers rejected the physical distribution of music in favour of easier, but illegal means of acquiring it.
While the industry was slow to repond, legal digital distribution services like Apple’s iTunes turned mobile music’s fortunes around, with handsets becoming the key platform for digitally downloaded music.
Daniel Ashdown, author of the report, said: “Initially, PC downloading and sideloading to MP3 players was the only way to go; but the development of mobile devices has now reached the point where they match the technical specs of dedicated MP3 players.
“Add in connectivity – just one click to buy and download – along with all the other smartphone features, and there is no competition between the two. This is why sales of Apple’s iPhone are going to outstrip its iPod in the not too distant future.”
However, the report warns that piracy still remains a significant threat – both online and on the mobile.
While P2P file sharing is slowly migrating to the mobile, with BitTorrent applications now available on Android Market, and the rollout of 4G networks about to increase, the report recommends that legislation protecting the music industry should be strongly enforced and expanded to mobile networks.