Report: Euro Music Download Market $5.7 Billion by 2009

A new report by research and analysis firm Generator, predicts that the digital song download market in Europe will reach $5.7 billion (€4.5 billion) by 2009. If this figure pans out, it will mean that the download market will account for about 40% of the total recorded music market.

The report also predicts that the mobile channel will figure largely in this market growth, up to $777 million (€610 million), 13.5% of the total by 2009 – and that’s not including huge ringtone market. But Europe first needs to change its usage-based mobile data tariffs and adopt flat-rate 3G tariffs like DoCoMo in Japan to encourage the successful use of the mobile channel, says the report’s author, Andrew Sheehy.

Operators will also need to develop their WAP portal strategies, so consumers can directly access existing Internet music resources, such as artist Web sites and digital music stores.

The Generator report, ‘Digital Music Meets Mobile Music’, differs considerably from last months Jupiter Research report, ‘European Digital Music: Identifying Opportunity’, which predicts that digital music revenue will reach €836 million, or 8% of the total market, by 2009. With a difference of 32% between Generator and Jupiter, one perhaps slightly conservative and one perhaps slightly ambitious, it might be safest to pitch the predicted figure somewhere between the two.

Only one year into the legal digital music industry, but in real terms more than a few years in, it has permeated the world of commercial music consumption far quicker than happened with the CD.

While both Generator and Jupiter agree that sales of downloaded digital music in Europe will continue to grow steadily for the forseeable future, Jupiter says the trend but will not replace the CD anytime soon, while Generator says it will be largely replaced within ten years.

Don’t throw anything away yet!