U.S. Consumers Lag In Adoption Of Music Phones

While adoption is starting to surge in parts of Asia and Europe, U.S. consumers are far more reluctant to replace their iPods with digital music-ready cell phones.
Almost 20 percent of cell phone users worldwide listen to music on their phones, but that number is only four percent in the U.S., according to a study released by TNS Technology.

The study covered 15 nations and found that, in those countries, 13 percent of cell phone owners said they listened to digital music ont heir phones either every day or at least once a week, with the rest saying they listened less frequently. While the U.S. ranked last among the nations covered in the survey, South Korea ranked first, with 26 percent saying they regularly listened. Hong Kong was second with 23 percent and the U.K. was third with 19 percent.

The market research company said that a separate study the company ran provides indicated little widespread support for listening to music over cell phones in the U.S. That survey found that only about 10 percent of the almost 2000 U.S. users questioned were extremely or highly likely to purchase a cell phone with a built-in digital music player. However, the research firm noted that such phones are just now starting to be available in the U.S.

The study noted that, worldwide, adoption of phones for playing music is being hampered by a lack of memory on the phones and poor sound quality. Another factor was the difficulty of getting the music on the phone, the survey found.

"The TNS study confirms a significant global interest in listening to music using mobile phones, with considerable potential for mobiles to take a greater share of the market in the future," Hanis Harun, Asia Pacific regional director for TNS Technology, said in a statement. "Accessibility is still very much an issue, but usage, intensity and appeal are both high."

He added, however, that prices for wireless downloads remain too high to be widely appealing.

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