Half of Tablet and Smartphone users are using those devices to listen to music

Mobile devices including tablets and smartphones are increasingly being used as portable music players, according to the new Audio Consumption Study from global information company The NPD Group. Forty percent of tablet owners report they use it to listen to music, while 56 percent of smartphone users say they use it for music listening. Among those using the smartphone for music listening, 39 percent said they listen to music at least once a day and half (54 percent) report they are using the device more for music compared with a year ago.

In the case of smartphones, 65 percent of the music users reported using Internet Radio, such as Pandora, while 30 are using on-demand services, such as Spotify or Rhapsody. However, many (60 percent) bring their own music to the device. Tablet owners have a similar passion for using Internet Radio, and half (49 percent) port their own music files to the device.

“With both local music storage and the ability to connect to any number of online music services, tablets and smartphones are actually contributing to a net increase in their owner’s use of internet radio and personal music collections,” said Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis at NPD. “As a result, we are seeing sales growth in products that compliment playback on mobile devices, particularly those that feature wireless local streaming.”

Wireless streaming speaker sales more than tripled in 2012, and wireless headphones grew by 34 percent. Further, one in four (28 percent) soundbars sold in 2012 were Bluetooth enabled, up from 6 percent in 2011, according to Retail Tracking Service data from NPD.