In 2006, the MP3 and portable audio player market is worth an estimated
$5.7 billion in manufacturer sales, almost three times its worth of
just over $1.9 billion in 2001. During this time, MP3 players have gone
from niche to mainstream products, and consumer portable purchases have
switched from models that rely on removable content to those whose
content is additive and intrinsic. MP3 players have freed consumers
from the need to carry around separate music media like CDs or
The title of this report: “MP3 and Other Portable Audio Players”,
reflects this fundamental shift. The MP3 player segment, with only
about 5% market share in 2001, surpassed combined sales in all other
segments in 2004 to claim well over 50% of the market’s sales. By 2006,
MP3 players are responsible for an estimated 88% of manufacturer sales
in the portable audio market.
Ownership among adult respondents is highest at ages 18-24, declining
with increasing age, whereas ownership of CD players is more constant
for ages 18-54 before falling off, and ownership of portable cassette
payers is lowest for the youngest adults.
Retailers who sell portable audio are focusing more on MP3 players, as
sales in other segments shrink. By the end of the period under review,
portable audio player segments are morphing so that many devices, from
CD players to radios, now also feature MP3 capabilities. And besides
audio features like radio, MP3 players are also expanding into other
functions besides music, notably video.
This report clearly identifies the principal external factors driving
or curtailing growth. Exclusive consumer research reveals the
attitudes, needs and behavior of consumers, with analysis broken down
both by demographic characteristics, and by segment.
Six years of specific sales data provide a factual and impartial
presentation of the market as a whole. The report also evaluates the
performance of individual sectors in the market, and provides
information about the major companies and brands. Using the SPSS
forecasting package, a five-year forecast of U.S. retail sales is
created, revealing potential opportunities for growth and product