Digital Music in China

Knowledge@Wharton writes:

Digital music can be divided into online music and mobile music; each broadcasts, respectively, through the Internet and a mobile telecommunications network. Online music is downloaded from the Internet to computers or digital music players. Mobile music mostly targets cell phone ring tones and “color ring back tones” — music downloaded for listening while a caller waits for a call to be picked up. Another type of mobile music developed recently is cell phone music — downloaded wirelessly and played through software preinstalled in the phones. It remains to be seen if there is a market for this new type of mobile music because it is still at a test stage. In addition, there is not enough network capacity, and music-playing mobile phone software has yet to be fully developed and adopted.

“About 30% of China’s cell phone users play mobile music through color ring back tones,” says Conor Yang, CEO of Rock Mobile, a Chinese wireless music producer and publisher. “That percentage will rise to 45% over the next three years with the development of 3G networks and the popularity of mobile music cell phones.” Rock Mobile, founded at the end of 2002 in Guangzhou, was spun off from Taiwan’s Rock Music Group to distribute in China wireless digital music produced by Rock Music. Rock Mobile has ranked in the top five spots since the start of 2003 in terms of China’s mobile color ring back tone sales and has a 10% share of the Chinese color ring back tone market.

The story will probably be very similar in India.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.