Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The article I have posted below explains how the ringtone industry, just a few years old, has already begun to decline. Citing new mobile phone technology as one of the main reasons for the decline in sales, people are now able to purchase entire songs for a dollar off of iTunes rather than pay a few dollars for a few seconds of the song. I understand this thinking, but I don't necessarily agree with it. I think the novelty of having your favorite song play has started to wear off, maybe even become annoying. I remember in 2003 I was happy to pay ten dollars for 3 monophonic ringtones because it was a statement I could make anytime somebody called me. Now I have 1 ringtone and to be honest, I wouldn't care if I didn't have it anymore. I don't think the price has much to do with the decline in sales, afterall, people are still willing to pay as much as 2 dollars for a song to play on touchtunes at the bar and once that song is over, so is their money. I think the ringtone was simply a fad that took off unlike anybody had predicted, and now the fad is dying.

The music ringtone market is continuing its steady decline, according to a new study from industry research firm IBISWorld. The company forecasts that revenue will decline for the second consecutive year down 15% to $750 million from its $880 million peak in 2007.

Ringtone chart

Growing demand of downloads, worth an estimated $1.94 billion, are the reason behind the eroding mobile ringtone market according to the study. Early ringtones were bought via text and cost consumers up to $5 a song. Today songs can be purchased for less than a dollar.

“Music ringtones practically boomed overnight, but with two consecutive years of decline it seems the industry is exiting just as rapidly as it entered,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “And with the ringtone market already reaching its decline stage, its life cycle is only expected to last about 15 years.”

“Mobile Phones are now truly wireless Internet devices and allow consumers to download full songs for ringtones rather than the 30-second versions available in the past,” said van Beeck. “Providers like iTunes and Amazon.com have revolutionized the way we buy and use music, driving consumers to hang-up on ringtones.”

Steve Smith


  1. also, the ability for a lot of phones to make your own ringtones from songs in garage band or websites like myxertones.com are a way for consumers to alternatively get ringtones they want, the exact way they want it.


  2. People are also finding ways to get around the phones that block such custom ringtones as well. Newer iPhones do not allow you to simply import a ringtone from an audio file. You have to open it in several applications or hex edit it in order to make the phone accept it as a ringtone file.

    - Derek