Grooves On The Move: IDC Forecasts U.S. Wireless Music Market To Surge By 2009

FRAMINGHAM, MA – July 19, 2005 – Although they are only one component of the overall wireless music market, wireless full-track downloads present an opportunity that is arguably one of the largest in the wireless data industry. IDC expects the U.S. wireless full-track music market to surge to $1.2 billion in revenue and over 50 million full-track customers and subscribers by 2009.

"IDC believes that online and wireless music services may represent the music industry's best long-term prospects for reversing decline and promoting growth, and that these new services will ultimately be the future of recorded music distribution," said Susan Kevorkian, senior research analyst, Consumer Markets at IDC.

The domestic market for cellular full-track OTA (over-the-air) delivery of music via 2.5G and 3G networks is clearly still in its infancy, despite the increasing levels of media coverage and industry buzz around the topic. Indeed, wireless full-track OTA delivery has yet to be launched in the U.S. A number of challenges facing the wireless music value chain have impeded development of this emerging market. Key near-term constraints include: lack of available handsets and 3G networks, digital rights management (DRM) complexity, competition from incumbent services, and business pricing models and practices.

"This study focuses on the market for full-track OTA music downloads. However, IDC believes that there is opportunity for wireless music services to include a range of bundled services designed to complement full tracks, and to deliver music to consumers however and whenever they want it. Wireless devices and networks are emerging as a great new channel for the delivery of not just a la carte tracks, but subscription-oriented packages that include radio and song identification technologies, ring tones, ring back tones, music videos, concert information alerts and more," said IDC's Lewis Ward, senior research analyst, Wireless Communications Research, and David Linsalata, research analyst, Mobile Devices.

The IDC study, U.S. Wireless Music 2005-2009 Forecast and Analysis: Grooves on The Move (IDC #33586), focuses on the market for full-track downloads, offering strategies and guidance to the broad wireless full-track music ecosystem, wireless full-track music content providers, network operators, and handset manufacturers. It provides an explanation of critical wireless music ecosystem constituents and market taxonomy as well.

To purchase this document, call IDC's Sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

IDC is currently developing a separate survey to gauge U.S. consumer awareness of and interest in full-track cellular delivery. Results for this survey should be available in the third quarter of 2005.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global market intelligence and advisory firm in the information technology and telecommunications industries. We analyze and predict technology trends so that our clients can make strategic, fact-based decisions on IT purchases and business strategy. Over 700 IDC analysts in 50 countries provide local expertise and insights on technology markets. Business executives and IT managers have relied for 40 years on our advice to make decisions that contribute to the success of their organizations.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. Additional information can be found at

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