New research from Informa Media predicts that the world is going to rush out and buy 10.8 million digital music players in 2004. By the end of the year, there will be 21.5 million of them – most of them on the Central Line, I predict.
Informa say that this spending will have a mixed effect as consumers will fill the players with their existing CD collections before venturing out to buy music from online stores. “It’s great news for the actual manufacturers, but for the music companies at the moment it’s not going to be an instant boom,” said Simon Dyson, an analyst with Informa.
I know my own music purchasing took a dip as I spent my first couple of months with my iPod listening to things that I’d bought years ago and not really bothered, with before buying new music.
Online music services are doing spectacularly well nonetheless, and will only do better as more players get into the market and people experiment with new music.
Projected snags are the public’s realisation that they can’t transfer tunes from devices and that many music stores are incompatible – something bought from Napster won’t play on your iPod, for example. Writing about music services means that I have a vast array of music in different formats and remembering what track plays in what programme or device is extremely irritating.
“Incompatibility between some downloads and the most popular portable players could become an issue in the very near future,” Dyson commented.
You don’t say.