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Music Gone Mobile |

  • On 09/18/2012

Do you remember the days of car-phones and the very first handheld mobile phone?

Sometime around late 1980’s the mobile phone slowly emerged and by the year 2000, every adult had a mobile phone and by 2005 every teenager had a mobile phone too. Mobile phones are not for basic call making uses either; we’re talking camera for photos and video, text messaging, internet and email access, external hard-drive storage and music downloading, listening and sharing.

Music technology companies have advanced faster than record labels and associations, but it’s starting to finally even out with digital charts analysis coming into play in 2011 through USA and UK – the two biggest markets. Whilst the music industry has played catch up, techno-gurus have been very, very busy. Take a look at Steve Jobs’ iTunes, which went from iPod to iPhone taking the world be storm. Not only is it a person’s music library but also personal computer and effectively lifetime. Operation via Wi-Fi or 3G, the consumer can always be connected with Facebook, Whatsapp, Viber, MySpace, LastFM, internet radio and email. And if the user needs to purchase a few more songs – it’s already set-up just by accessing the iTunes and App Store by downloading the latest album or ringtone by lead Female Singers, Taylor Swift for example. This is the digital era where music goes mobile and sharing has gone to the next level.

Tracking sales, airplay and media usage digitally are more controllable if the right set-ups are in place. Albeit a slow start, piracy is being shut-down after hefty court cases and artists are slowly recouping losses in sales since late 1990. Without taking pirates stealing music into consideration, let’s have a look at the history of music sales since 2000.

Compact Disc (physical format) sales revenues have declined by 50% since 2000, from a high of 730 million down to 223.5 million in 2011. However, digital album sales have doubled to 103 million, digital tracks increased from 19.2 million to 1.27 billion whilst vinyl record sales have risen to 3.9 million. The comparison between CD, digital and vinyl are all about price differences. CD and vinyl cost more to produce, distribute and stock. Digital is unlimited and a slice of the price BUT therefore the purchasing cost is lower too. Because of this physical and digital are difficult to compare in price of unit vs number of units sold. Digital singles are approximately $0.99 whereas physical singles are up to $2.99, albums $4.99 vs $11.99. So even though physical sales are down, digital sales are not selling enough quantities to substantiate past sales.

How can an artist selling digitally overthrow Michael Jackson, holding the record for Thriller’s number one all-time selling record of 65-110 million albums, and The Beatles hold the record for 250 million units (approx. 1 billion albums claimed sales)? By making greater usage of the mediums that music can be played on and ensuring the right, streaming privileges and pricing are in place.

Record labels have been actively connecting with mobile operators to put procedures, licensing deals and pricing platforms in place to enable their users better access to music through the hand-held phones. The mobiles allow the user to stream for pre-listening, download (by charging phone bill or iTunes account), buy tickets to shows, buy ringtones and other merchandise, plus share music with the right copyright and licensing rights in place. Actual music industry revenues have been increasing steadily since 2006, despite the fall in recorded music.

Mobile music is personalized with playlists and one source of all the consumer’s favourite albums and mixes. Not only in head-phones, but integrated into cars, home stereos, gyms and airplanes. Watch how mobile technology will overthrow other music devices like home stereos. It’s already contributed 10.28% to worldwide music revenues in 2011, with figures up to $7.3 billion, so where to next? Music gone mobile.

Author Bio:  Jenni is a person with a passion for writing. She has written many articles on various topics, for more information you can check her other blogs.

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