What factors are changing the mobile music industry?



Earlier this year, research group NPD found that over half of smartphone owners use that device to listen to music. And given the number of people I see on any given day plugged into their phones or tablets on the bus or subway each day, that finding is no surprise.

What is a bit surprising is how complicated the mobile music scene has become recently. There are the a la carte sellers like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), which sell songs and provide devices for listening; streaming services like Pandora and Spotify; operator-run initiatives like Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) subsidiary Cricket's Muve Music; and device-specific initiatives such as Samsung Hub and Nokia Music.

Even within those categories, the water gets a little murkier. Take streaming music, which encompasses both Pandora (streaming radio) with over 67 million reported listeners in the U.S., and Spotify (on-demand streaming) with over 24 million listeners worldwide. Add into the mix the variety of rumored streaming services from Apple, Amazon and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and it really gets complicated.

FierceMobileContent takes a look at the key issues that are hounding the development of the market and the dynamics that could affect both existing players and new entrants in this new special report. --Sandhya