A study conducted by Juniper Research has indicated that by 2015, the mobile music industry will be worth $55.5 billion.
This is certainly good news for the industry, as it means that music downloads to mobile handsets are expected to more than double in value within the next 5 years, from $2.4 billion in 2010.
The music industry had been going through a very lean phase for the last several years due to the rampant prevalence of online piracy. After the introduction of P2P file sharing, people tended to avoid buying records and CDs from the market, and just downloaded the music illegally.
In order to fight this piracy, companies like Apple introduced iTunes in 2003. People could now easily and legally download the music in the form of ring tones, ring back tones, full track services and music videos by paying for it.
While PCs with MP3 players were earlier required to download the music, the recent technological advances made by the handset industry have now made mobiles the most popular tools to download music.
In fact, according to the Juniper report, the sales of the iPhone will soon exceed that of the iPod because of this. Google has also gone into the mobile music business with the intention of making their Android OS more popular than Apple’s iOS.
Whether this saves the music industry as we know it, or seeds a revolution where record labels become obsolete or have to redefine their business model in order to effective monetise music downloads by consumers without worrying about piracy eating into their revenues remains to be seen.