Study: MySpace Gaining On iTunes, Napster As Most Recognized Fee-Based Downloading Brand
March 14, 2007 at 12:38 PM (PT)
Amid continued growth in portable MP3 player ownership and emerging speculation about the long-term sustainability of fee-based 'a la carte' music downloading, excerpts from IPSOS' TEMPO Digital Music Brandscape study released today show that APPLE's iTUNES continues to strengthen its position as the dominant fee-based digital music destination, while a host of other services are striving to grow consumer mindshare and establish clear points of differentiation.
The study also reveals that the breakthrough of social networking website MYSPACE as a prominent destination for digital music may suggest underserved areas of the market are still untapped.
Key findings from the Brandscape study include:
* Among American downloaders aged 12 and older, iTUNES gained significantly in both unaided and aided awareness over 2005, moving from 57% to 66% for total awareness.
* NAPSTER experienced some erosion in awareness, dropping from 79% to 68% total awareness.
* Awareness of YAHOO! MUSIC increased over the past year, with total awareness reaching 53% (up from 49% in 2005).
* Awareness of MYSPACE jumped from 16% to 54% in just one year.
(IPSOS points out that the study was conducted prior to the launch of MICROSOFT's ZUNE Marketplace.)
"While iTUNES' awareness gains in 2006 have been salient, many industry watchers had anticipated them," states IPSOS VP and study author MATT KLEINSCHMIT. "The real breaking stories in the category are the rampant growth of awareness for MYSPACE and the ongoing challenge for many other digital music services to maintain and grow their place in the consumer consideration set. While MYPSPACE has effectively carved out a unique area of the market centered on social networking and direct-to-consumer recommendations, it remains to be seen if this model can be monetized and scaled while maintaining the copyright protections that content holders require.
"Despite this, the growth of MYSPACE is a strong example that there remain areas of opportunity in the still evolving digital music market. It will be increasingly important in 2007 for other services to develop and clearly communicate their own competitive differentiation, as the momentum of iTUNES in this category may be too difficult to compete directly against with similarly positioned offers."
For the full study, with charts, click here.