The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has released GfK data which shows that over the past two years over 44 million mobile phones have been sold in the UK that can play MP3s.
That compares with sales of just over 8 million CD players over the same period, ERA said.
In the 12 months to the end of September, 32. million MP3 devices were sold in the UK of which 75% were mobile phones. Not a huge surprise as around 90% of mobile phones can play MP3s.
Russel Coultart, Chairman of ERA Digital said:“Never in the history of the music business have we seen a format take off like this before. There is now no doubt that MP3 is the fastest-growing music format of all time, faster than vinyl, cassette or CD
“MP3’s ability to compress lots of music into a small amount of memory makes it ideal for portable devices like mobile phones. The MP3 is the CD of the download world. The beauty of the MP3 is that it plays on everything.”
ERA recently launched its new MP3 Compatible campaign designed to illustrate which downloads will work on which devices.
Apple’s full field of UK digital music competition: 7digital.com, Digitalstores.co.uk, HMV.com, Play.com, Tescodigital.com, Tunetribe.com and Woolworthsdownload.co.uk will all use the new “MP3 compatible” logo.
Russell Coultart said, “The technology industry is very good at coming up with all kinds of incompatible formats which don’t necessarily work on all devices. Our advice is simple – stick to MP3 compatible and you can’t go wrong.”