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September 12, 2006 at 10:13 AM

CTIA: Music download businness

LOS ANGELES — The United Kingdom has the highest percentage of mobile subscribers who used their mobile device as a music player in July, according to Seattle-based M:Metrics.

The research firm found that 3 percent of British subscribers used their phone as a music player, compared with 2.8 percent of Spaniards, 0.7 percent of U.S. users and 1.4 percent of Germans.

In the U.S., music download services have been criticized for their high costs and difficult-to-use formats. However, a series of new devices coming out, such as LG’s Chocolate phone available through Verizon Wireless, have been doing more to get the word out on how the phone can be a music player.

“A significant barrier to mobile music consumption is the dearth of devices that support the activity,” said Seamus McAteer, M:Metrics’ senior analyst. “We are, however, seeing an influx of music-friendly devices on the market, with removable storage and better interfaces for accessing songs, as well as consumer education by the operators, all of which will foster growth in the sector.”

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