Online music products generated $500 mln in 2004

Music-related products for PCs and mobile phones are on pace to deliver as much as $500 million in combined revenue in the United States for 2004, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures and analysts’ projections. Individual song sales online monitored by Nielsen SoundScan are on pace to top 130 mln units for the year. In 2003, digital tracks scanned 19.2 mln units, though that was in an abbreviated reporting period. 2004 marks the first full calendar year for Nielsen SoundScan’s tracking of download sales. Year-to-date download sales have exceeded 120 mln tracks as of Dec. 5, with more than 3 mln tracks being rung up on a weekly basis. Jupiter Research estimates that overall download business, including track and album sales, will exceed $158 mln this year. Gated Internet radio services like Real Networks, Napster, MusicNet@AOL and MusicMatch are on track to top $113 mln in 2004. Based on public statements by the leading PC-based music services, at least 1.4 mln subscribers pay for music programming online; the average customer pays $7 per month. Consect estimates that 2004 US ringtone sales will total $300 mln – up from $110 mln a year ago. BMI projects sales of $240 mln, up from $68 mln.