The study, based on telephone interviews of more than 2,200 people, concluded that those who are younger, wealthier, and use the Internet are more likely to own such gadgets.
While one in five people under the age of 30 have an iPod or other MP3 player, the number dropped to one in seven in the 30- to-48 age range. About a quarter of people with household incomes of $75,000 or more owned MP3 players. That figure dropped to 10 percent for those in the $30,000 to $75,000 range, and to 6 percent among those earning less than $30,000.
The study indicated that those who use the Internet are four times as likely as non-Internet users to have MP3 players. The study also showed that men have a 50 percent greater chance than women of owning a digital media player.
Separately, Swedish-Japanese mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson just announced the imminent launch of digital Walkman phones in March to better tap into the mobile music market, seen as a top growth area for 2005. 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 announcement this week coincided with a Nokia announcement that it had struck a deal with Microsoft to put Microsoft's Windows Audio player in Nokia handsets. In a bid to reach a wider audience, Microsoft also said it will use open standards for its compression and anti-piracy software in its audio player.