Consumers who have recently chosen to recycle mobile phones may have done so to upgrade to a handset with enhanced capability to play music.
According to Tim Green, executive editor of telecoms news website Mobile Entertainment, mobile phone makers and the music industry are "all over" each other.
When asked whether the latter sector could do more to engage with consumers, he claimed this is not the most serious issue facing the market.
In his opinion, the most pressing problem is working out how to convince consumers to download directly to their mobiles.
Mr Green pointed out that many people tend to use their computers to acquire tunes, either for free via peer-to-peer software or from a pay-site.
People who may have recently undertaken mobile phone recycling might transfer the songs to their handset afterwards, but the initial download is often done on a PC or laptop.
The expert made his comments after research organisation comScore published research showing 15.7 per cent of US mobile users listened to music on their phones in the three months to December 2010.
This figure stood at 15.2 per cent in the previous quarter.
According to the firm, use of browsers, downloaded apps and social networking sites also rose.
Mr Green noted that it is all about changing people's habits with regards to music downloads, as the music industry and mobile phone firms have combined successfully plenty of times on the marketing side of the industry.
He added: "They have engaged quite strongly with it in the past through doing deals with operators to license their tracks but also generally the number of cross-promotions they do, whether it's Glastonbury or getting Robbie Williams to be the face of Orange."
One firm that appears to be taking a step back from the market is Nokia, as the firm announced last month that it would be scrapping its Ovi Music Unlimited service.