Europe leads US on mobile music consumption

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The US is significantly lagging behind Western Europe when it comes to music on the move, a new set of statistics has revealed.

Data released May 20 by US analyst comScore suggested that 23.8 percent of mobile phone users in the five leading European mobile markets (UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) had downloaded music to their handsets in the first quarter of 2010.

By contrast, only 13.2 percent of the mobile population used mobile phone handsets to listen to music in the United States.

In total, consumption of music through mobile devices grew a significant 62 percent in Europe between 2009 and 2010, compared to only ten percent in the US.

The research showed that the Spanish were the most likely to be listening to music on their mobiles, with 30 percent loading music from their PCs or downloading it directly.

The analysis also revealed that that Germany is the market where people are truly on the go with their music, as it led the five EU nations in terms of direct downloads to devices (as opposed to syncing with a computer), with one million mobile downloads in April - a year-on-year growth rate of 102 percent.

Given that 47 percent of mobile music listeners browse the mobile internet, compared to 25 percent of the total mobile subscribers, comScore believes that those listening to music through their phones are an ideal target for music publishers and promoters.