Worldwide PMP Sales
(Factory-level sales in millions)
P2P Flat, Ripping Up
Port Washington, N.Y. — The number of consumers downloading music from peer-to-peer (P2P) networks is holding steady, and the number of people downloading from authorized sites and ripping CDs is on the rise, The NPD Group found in a consumer survey.
Fewer adults are buying CDs, the company noted.
In a survey of Internet-connected households, NPD found that the percentage of surveyed households that downloaded at least one song through a P2P network in March held steady at 10 percent compared to March 2005. The percentage paying for at least one music download rose to 5 percent from 4 percent for the surveyed periods.
The percentage of households ripping CDs grew 29 percent in March, compared with the year-ago period, and the percentage of households burnng music to CD rose 28 percent.
The percentage of Internet households buying CDs fell to 12 percent from 15 percent.
Panasonic, Rhapsody Tie-In
Secaucus, N.J. — Consumer who buy either of two flash-memory MP3 portables from Panasonic anytime during 2006 will get a $25 rebate if they commit to a three-month subscription to the Rhapsody To Go subscription-download service.
The service lets users download all the songs they want in protected WMA format as long as they pay a monthly fee. The music expires once the subscription expires.
Panasonic’s two models, which play subscription-download music, feature 1GB and 2GB of embedded memory at an everyday $99 and $149, respectively. Both operate for up to 80 hours on a single AA alkaline battery.
PMPs To Get 17% Share
Boston — Portable media players (PMPs) will account for 16.7 percent of worldwide sales of all music- and video-storing handheld digital devices in 2009, up from a near-zero percentage in 2005, IDC forecasts show.
IDC and other research companies define PMPs as handheld devices with HDD and screen sizes of 3.5 inches and up. They’re marketed primarily as video device but feature music and photo playback capabilities, IDC said.
In 2009, combined sales of PMPs and MP3 players, including video-capable MP3 players, will hit 202.4 million, up from 122.3 million in 2005. PMP sales will hit 33.8 million, compared with 168.6 million MP3 players with and without video capabilities. Video-capable MP3 players feature video-playback capability but they’re marketed primarily as music players because of screen sizes less than 3.5 inches.
Also in 2009, sales of 37.6 million video-capable MP3 players will account for 22 percent of the MP3 player market of 168.6 million units, IDC forecasts.
Sky-High Over-Air Prices
Boston — Over-the-air cellular downloads of MP3 music meets or exceeds users’ expectations for performance and convenience, but the price is so high that few people are taking advantage, according to a Strategy Analytics survey of users.
“Our research suggests that users are willing to pay a premium of around 35 percent for the convenience of downloading tracks to both their wireless devices and PCs, subject to reliable network performance,” said analyst Kevin Nolan. The current 100 percent to 150 percent premiums, however, “make adoption of these services highly unlikely.”
Users of the Sprint download service were happier by a “massive” amount compared to users of Verizon’s V CAST service, based on perceived network performance and ease of use.