BBC News: One in 10 adult Americans - equivalent to 22 million people - owns an MP3 player, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. [...] MP3 players are still the gadget of choice for younger adults. Almost one in five US citizens aged under 30 have one. [...] People are beginning to use them as instruments of social activity - sharing songs and taking part in podcasting - the [Pew] survey found.
Another clear sign to support current evidence that podcasting is taking off.
Here's yet another sign:
Reuters: This year will witness the transformation of mobile handsets into genuine entertainment devices, France Telcom's wireless unit Orange predicted on Monday. "Entertainment is the big thing in 2005," Orange Chief Executive Sanjiv Ahuja told Reuters in an interview on the fringes of 3GSM, the world's biggest communications trade fair in Cannes. He said entertainment features on mobile phones such as high-quality music, video clips and live television would drive demand for third generation (3G) mobile services.
Making it even easier and more convenient to listen to audio - whether that's music or conversations: they're all digital audio files - wherever, whenever and however you want, and whether it's for business or for pleasure.
There's also this:
Reuters: The world's largest mobile phone maker, Nokia, and software giant Microsoft struck a deal on Monday to make it easier for consumers to buy digital music online and play it back on their handsets. In a comprehensive agreement, involving a separate deal with digital media company Loudeye, Nokia agreed to put Microsoft's music player software into its handsets. [...] Consumers keep a lot of digital music in personal computers and will be able to simply transfer those tracks to their phone. [...] The Finnish firm sold 10 million phones in 2004 with an integrated music player, and a spokesman told Reuters Nokia would launch a phone in 2005 that would support Windows Audio.
Hardware (the means...) and software (...unto the end) convergence. The more devices, the more content. And the more content, the more devices. And sooner rather than later, transferring your digital audio content to your mobile phone will be as easy as it is now to sync stuff to your iPod. Probably easier.
Still need convincing? One more sign:
Reuters: Swedish-Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson will launch digital Walkman phones in March to better tap into the mobile music market, seen as a top growth area for 2005, [Chief Executive Miles Flint] said on Monday. [...] Some of Sony Ericsson's models already feature a digital music player, but the new handsets will have more music playing features and will get access to Sony's digital download service on the Internet, called Connect. The new Walkman phones, which will be available early in the second half of 2005, will have large memory, good quality headphones and the ability to easily import tracks from a personal computer and other devices.
This is a great time to be in the communication business!