I saw a news item saying US album sales were down 4.2% in the first half of 2006, but sales of music downloaded online soared 77% duringÂ the same period.
I think MP3 players in mobile phones have changed lifestyles and have contributed a lot to this trend, though this is not a view expressed in this article.
Many people who were fond of music in their younger days may realize that marriage, family and kids haveÂ drastically reduced their music listening habit. When you have to play a cassette or CD in your living room system, you are often restricted to only playing things that areÂ liked by the rest of the family. Automatically, this reduces the time you listen to music.Â You can always carry your favorite cassettes / CDs with you and listen to them on a portable cassette or CD player e.g. Walkman / Discman. However, that’s a lot of stuff to carry around for most of us.
Enter mobile phone MP3 players. People tend to carry their mobile phones everywhere. Without anything more to carry, they can listen to digital MP3 music if their mobile phones have an MP3 player. This leads to entirely new possibilities and almost re-introduces music into people’s lives once again. Now, people can listen to music on their commute between home and work. If their mobile phone has the so-called “flight mode”, they can switch it on in this mode during a flight to listen to music. My mobile phone, an already-outdated Nokia 6230, came with 40MB of memory. At less than 3K INR, I could add on a 512MB MMC memory card. Now, I have a collection of around 50 songs that I can listen to anywhere, without worrying about whether it disturbs the rest of the family or not. I’m sure the latest handset models come standard with 64MB or more, so that you can store more tracks without incurring the cost of additional memory cards.
Now, how do you uploadÂ MP3 music into your mobile phone? If you buy a CD, you need to first rip it into MP3 in your PC, before you can upload it to your mobile phone via USB cable or Bluetooth. But, if you download digital music from various websites, you already have the tracks in MP3 format ready to upload to your mobile phone. Surely, it saves time to get your music as online downloads rather than buy CDs.
As websites selling online music downloads proliferate and as prices of mobile phones that include MP3 players increase, the trend in favor of online music downloads is bound to increase.
In the near future, we might see the day when online music sales overtake music CD sales!
Back to Main Page