Annual mobile music revenues will top $14bn worldwide by 2011 according to the latest report from Juniper Research, with Asia Pacific expected to contribute 40% by this time, Europe 27%, North America 18% and Rest of the World 15%.
Juniper predicts that with the advent of new technologies and increasing competition fuelling the drive for product innovation, there will be a significant shift in market emphasis from ringtones to over the air (OTA) full track music in the next five years.
During the period 2006-2011 total revenues from mobile music services (including ringtones, ringback tones and OTA full track music) will see the proportional market share for ringtones fall from 81% to 51%, with OTA full track music rising from 9% to 32%.
This change is courtesy of OTA full track music taking off, as 3G networks and 'music' handsets become more globally accessible and business models evolve, allowing consumers to purchase both PC and mobile music in a single transaction.
Bruce Gibson, Research Director at Juniper Research, says, "Until now ringtones have dominated mobile music, but the balance is shifting. Full track music has been the central offering of many 3G service launches around the world and as 3G usage gathers pace, the mobile music market is preparing to enter a new growth phase."
Prominent market drivers for the acquisition of full track music are likely to be the dual download facility, increased bandwidth offered by 3G networks and the evolution of the mobile handset into a multi-purpose communications and entertainment device.
Despite this change in emphasis however the ringtone market will continue to flourish. "Ringtones won't die away -- far from it! We believe that continued product innovation within the personalization product sector will ensure ringtones remain popular through the foreseeable future," Bruce adds.