Study: Mobile Audio Is A Significant Growth Opportunity
April 3, 2007 at 12:44 PM (PT)
Mobile audio is a promising opportunity that has not yet been fully exploited, according to a study by ARBITRON and consumer research firm TELEPHIA that examines the evolving market for mobile audio services from the consumer point of view in terms of current usage patterns, attitudes and preferences. A 15-minute online survey of over 2,000 wireless subscribers was conducted in FEBRUARY to investigate Americans' use, preference and perception of different types of mobile audio.
Key findings from The Mobile Audio Media Study include:
* One in 16 mobile phone subscribers (6%) report using one or more mobile audio features in the last 30 days.
* Downloading music over-the-air has the highest awareness among the general mobile population. Listening to music transferred from another device is the most commonly used way of accessing mobile audio:
Mobile Audio Option Awareness Used last 30 days
(general mobile population) (mobile audio users)
Sideloaded/transferred audio 32% 67%
Subscription-based streaming radio 56% 39%
Downloading over-the-air 65% 35%
Free FM radio 36% 34%
* Current mobile audio users spend more time than the general mobile population on nearly every media and entertainment activity. The exception: current mobile audio users report spending significantly less time per day watching TV (2 hours 33 minutes) than do typical wireless subscribers (3 hours 17 minutes.)
* Mobile audio users represent a lucrative segment of the wireless marketplace. A larger percentage of mobile audio users (56%) spend more than $60 a month on wireless subscriptions than the general mobile phone user population (49%).
* Most current mobile audio users agree that commercials are a fair price to pay for free content. More than three-quarters of those who download content over-the-air and those who listen to free FM radio agree that commercials are a fair price to pay for free content. Two out of three subscription radio users also agree that commercials are a fair price to pay for free programming.
* Nearly two-thirds (63%) of current mobile audio users are male. People aged 25 to 44 represent 71% of all current mobile audio users. African Americans, Asians and Hispanics make up a higher proportion of current mobile audio users than they do of the general mobile phone user population:
User type Hispanic African-American Asian Other Caucasian
Mobile audio user 19% 15% 14% 14% 57%
General mobile user 10% 11% 2% 9% 77%
* Pop music is the leading music style for mobile audio users. The format preferences of current mobile audio users are broadly consistent with the group’s demographic profile.
* Attracting new consumers to the mobile audio marketplace will be challenging. Approximately two-thirds of "non-current" mobile audio users are "not interested at all" in any of the four major options for accessing mobile audio services.
"There is an opportunity for wireless providers, programmers and marketers to develop an advertising model for mobile audio," said TELEPHIA Sr. Product Manager WAYMAN LEUNG. "Most current mobile audio users prefer the ad-supported model over paying a subscription fee. And this group is a very attractive demographic for advertisers to target as it’s comprised mainly of affluent, tech-savvy early adopters."
ARBITRON Product Development Manager NEAL BONNER said, "For broadcasters looking to expand their platforms beyond terrestrial radio, mobile audio represents an untapped marketplace that they can exploit in partnership with mobile phone networks. Radio broadcasters are uniquely positioned to deliver programming for these promising new audio services."