Summary:

A survey by Informa has found that 83.7% of mobile operators believe that the demands of the music industry for a large slice of the revenue…

A survey by Informa has found that 83.7% of mobile operators believe that the demands of the music industry for a large slice of the revenue from nascent mobile music services, such as ring-tones, are holding back the development of the sector. This was the single largest reason cited: Other reasons include “the user experience of services already on the market and the cost to the consumer of data services over mobile phones”.
Of course, operators have also long been accused of grabbing too much of the revenue of mobile content services…everyone wants the biggest slice. In terms of mobile music the demands of labels and operators mean that third-party mobile music vendors have difficulty.
Interestingly, “Respondents also said neither ring-tones nor other mobile music services were “critical direct revenue generators,” but were important as marketing or customer retention tools. Around 17% said ring-tones were a “critical” direct revenue generator, with about 37% saying they were “negligible”… Around 7% said mobile services excluding ring-tones were “critical” as a direct revenue generator.”
I guess it depends on what is meant by “critical”. Mobile music — and other mobile content — is still a minority of the operators revenues…but it is the segment that is hoped will grow to cover falling voice revenues.
Mobile music is important for the music industry anyway, with IFPI saying that it accounts for 40% of the total digital music market, which increased to $1.1 billion in 2005 from $380 million in 2004 (press release). This is a global figure, and it should be pointed out that Japan accounted for US$211 million of mobile music sales. (via Ringtonia)
Related stories:
The State of Global Mobile and Digital Music Market: Mobile Sales Cross $400 Million
Mobile Industry Goes GaGa For Radio
@ MIDEM: Interview: Rio Caraeff, General Manager/VP, Universal Music Mobile

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