Wednesday, January 18, 2006

JupiterResearch: Sell the ringtones not the songs for now

Maybe I'm just a parrot and have gotten good at mimicking what I hear from the analysts, but this post from Michael Gartenberg at JupiterResearch supports what I wrote yesterday about the differences between ringtones and full track music downloads. Gartenberg posts:

I was talking with some teenagers over the last few days about the new music stores offered by the carriers. They all balked at the notion of paying $2.00-$2.50 a song, which was no surprise. They are quite willing to pay the same fee for a ring tone. Now some might think that's a contradiction, but it's not. One's for personalization and one is about entertainment, different things with different value propositions.

One of the group had what I thought was a good suggestion. Rather than sell the downloaded song for $2.50 along with a PC version for free, they should sell the ring tone for the $2.50 price and include the song for free. Makes great sense. Don't try to change the buying pattern in the short term and compete with $0.99 pricing. Instead, go with what the market will already bear and get users in the habit of listening to songs on their phones. Be interesting to see if any carrier would be this bold.
Good ideas, but unfortunately common sense, the music industry and network operators don't seem to go hand in hand...