Monday, August 01, 2005

Personalizing Cell Phones with Ring Tones

The Dayton Daily News writes about the ring tone trend sweeping the mobile world. The ring tone market is estimated to be $4 billion worldwide and Jupiter Research "projects ring tone revenues of $417 million in the United States this year, rising to $724 million in 2009. That compares with $3 million in 2001 and $60 million in 2003."

In the article Julie Ask of Jupiter talks about the core audience driving the market. "My grandmother's never going to buy a ring tone. My mother's never going to buy a ring tone. I'm 37. Most of my friends will never buy a ring tone. But if you've got a 16-year-old at home, they've probably already got 16 of them."

Ask thinks small companies can succeed in this market, but is realistic about market prospects as it gets even more crowded with major music labels also wanting to get their piece of the pie. Ask says "Even if the market is only several hundred million dollars in the U.S., it's good for them. Is it going to make the stock price double at Verizon? No."

Maybe I'm too old but I don't get the whole ring tone market phenomenon. Now don't get me wrong. I have personalized ring tones on my phone, but they are from MP3s I converted myself. Paying up to $3 for a snippet of a song for my cell phone makes no sense to me, especially when I can go to iTunes and get the full and real version for only 99 cents.

Personally, I think the market is in for an imminent shakeout as smartphones and music-enabled phones become cheaper and more prevalent. And if the impending Moto iPhone can come anywhere close to duplicating the iPod's success then it might be sooner than later...

via Dayton Daily News