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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Michael Russell on the Ringtone Market

Ringtones - Big Business For A Little Sound
By Michael Russell of http://ezinearticles.com/

Ring tones. Bet you never thought you'd see the day when the sound your mobile phone made when it rang would be such a hot item. Welcome to the 21st century.

Ring tones are hotter than Cameron Diaz on a summer day. There are a zillion places on the Internet to download these things and the income generated by this business is staggering.

So just what are ring tones and how do you get them?

Ring tones are recorded waves in digital format that play whenever your cell phone rings. You can assign these tones individually to each number in your phone book so that depending on who is calling you're know the caller before you even look at your phone just by the sound it makes. Kind of like a voice ID.

As to where you get them, well, you don't have to look very far. For starters a number of ring tones come pre loaded into your phone. Usually they're broken up into categories. First you have your standard ring tones like beeps and buzzes and then you have your musical ring tones. These can be anything from Christmas songs to jazz classics. Most phones today come with a pretty good selection.

The really GOOD stuff comes from the Internet. There are companies that deal primarily with supplying ring tones for cell phones and the number of sites when doing an Internet search is a staggering 2 million pages. So how exactly do you get these custom ring tones? Actually it's pretty simple. Go to any site after doing your search and you'll find a page that most likely has a list of ring tones. Click on the one you want. That will bring you to a screen where you enter your phone information country, handset (make of phone), phone number, and carrier company. After you fill all that out there is a button you click to actually download the ringtone. After that you connect your phone to the computer and transfer the ringtone from the computer to the phone. If you're not sure if your phone supports downloading ring tones most sites have a checklist where you can find out.

So what are the most popular ring tones? Well, that changes from day to day. As a matter of fact Billboard magazine actually has a section with the top 10 ring tones for the week. As of this article, with Halloween fast approaching, John Carpenter's theme from the cult classic movie "Halloween" is the number 2 most popular ringtone. It's a safe bet that by the time Halloween actually comes around this ringtone will have hit the top of the charts. But it seems that this particular ringtone is popular all year round as it has been on Billboards top 10 list now for 53 weeks. That is the longest of all the ring tones tied with "The Super Mario Brothers Theme."

The cost of all this? Astronomical. One ringtone can cost you as much as $2. Imagine wanting to download a dozen of these. The cost can add up quickly. Knowing this, companies are always coming out with ring tones that they know people will want. Yes, this is BIG business.

The size of the ringtones market

I didn't realize this, but the Worldwide ringtones market is currenly valued at $3 billion. Not bad for an industry that consists solely of digital sounds played by cell phones.

I can understand the growth of the cell phone market, but the growing ringtone market points only to the rampant desire for product personalization.
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