Mobile Music Rises in EU5

May 25, 2010

The total number of mobile music users in the EU5 countries of Europe has grown 10% in the last year, according to the comScore MobiLens service.

54M Mobile Music Users in EU5
There were 54 million mobile music users in the EU5 nations of UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain during the three-month average ending March 2010. This represents a 10% increase from the three-month average ending March 2009.

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One-quarter of EU5 Mobile Users Listen to Music
During the three-month average ending March 2010, 23.8% of EU5 mobile users listened to music on a mobile device. Another 20.3% listened to mobile music sideloaded from a PC, while 3.7% purchased a ringtone. Only 1.9% downloaded music directly to a mobile device.

However, about 4.3 million EU5 mobile users downloaded music, representing 62% year-over-year growth.

Spain led the way with 30% of mobile users listening to music from their primary handsets followed by Germany with 25.8%. The UK, known for its affinity for music, actually falls slightly behind the average in EU5 with 22.6% penetration of mobile users.

Listening to music on mobile phones was least popular in France and Italy, with 21% of both markets engaged in this activity. The US, in contrast, lags far behind all EU5 countries with only 13.2% of the mobile population using mobile handsets to listen to music.

Germans Download Most Music
Germany led all EU5 countries in downloading music directly to mobile handsets with more than 1 million mobile music downloaders during the three-month average ending March 2010, while also demonstrating the fastest growth rate at 102%. Italy ranked as the second fastest growing market (up 92%) followed by France (up 50%). Once again, mobile music download growth in the EU5 countries significantly outpaced the US, which grew just 10% to 4 million users.

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Texting Leads All Mobile Activities
Sending a text message to another phone was by far the most popular mobile activity in the EU5 during the three-month average ending March 2010, with 82% of mobile subscribers performing this activity. The UK significantly led all other EU5 nations in texting with a 90.1% participation rate, while Italy lagged with a 77.5% texting rate.

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3G penetration has reached 44% of the EU5 market. More than half of mobile subscribers in Spain (55%) use a 3G network, while only 38.6% of French mobile subscribers use a 3G network.

Other Findings
Of the 54 million users listening to music on a mobile device in the EU5:

  • 42% have a smartphone, compared to 25% of the total mobile subscribers.
  • 47% browse the mobile internet, compared to 25% of the total mobile subscribers.
  • 85% of those who listened to music on their phone, listen to ‘sideloaded’ music (loaded from a PC).
  • 8% of those who listened to music on their phone, have downloaded it direct to their device.

European Mobile Mapping Grows 68%
In addition to growing use of mobile devices for music, EU5 mobile subscribers are also showing increased use of mobile devices for mobile mapping/directional service, according to previous comScore MobiLens data. In total, there were an average of 21.1 million users of mobile mapping and directional services in the EU5 nations in the three months leading to February 2010. This was a 68% increase from an average of 12.5 million EU5 mobile mapping and directional services users in the three months leading to February 2009.

The highest growth among EU5 countries was seen in the UK market, with an 86% increase from 3.1 to 5.7 million users. Italy remains the second-largest market for mobile mapping and direction services with 4.9 million users, but has experienced the least growth (53%), compared to a year ago. Germany ranked third with 3.9 million mobile map users (71% growth), followed by France (3.5 million users, 55% growth) and Spain (3.2 million users, 53% growth).

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