Ringtone Sales Falling As People Realize They Don't Need To Pay Twice

from the took-'em-this-long? dept

I have to admit that about the only surprising thing in the news last week from BMI that ringtone sales are likely to drop this year is the fact that it took this long. Since 2004 we've been wondering when people would get around to realizing that just because a ringtone is on a phone, it doesn't change the basic economics (which are even worse, as the industry kept trying to push the price of ringtones higher to "save" the industry). With users finally realizing that they can transfer songs they have elsewhere onto their phones as ringtones, the desire to pay huge fees just to prop up the recording industry just isn't going to work any more. No wonder the industry is now jumping on the music tax plan.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 1:57pm

    I am guessing the next thing we will see is the music industry in Congress wanting protections to perpetuate the ringtone industry's bad business model.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Archer, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 1:58pm

    Ringtones

    Long have I believed that along with The Four Horsemen, a world-wide multi billion dollar ringtone busines was a sign of our impending doom.

    Absolutely nuts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:17pm

      Re: Ringtones

      We haven't heard that user-created ringtones makes us vulnerable to terrorist attack, but the story is still pretty fresh. I am sure it will come up eventually.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:00pm

    Kwik-Fit (a UK mechanic company thing that has shops everywhere) got sued by some Performers Rights group because their mechanics were playing CDs too loudly in the garages, which apparently constitutes a public performance (so someone is owed royalties). So what about musical ringtones that go off on a bus, or in a crowded area?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Gabe, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:13pm

    Verizon

    I have a Verizon Wireless phone (EnV VX9900), and they have crippled the phone to the point that there is no way of loading ringtones without (A) purchasing them through Get-It-Now, Verizon's ringtone store, or (B) hacking the phone. As it stands, I purchased two ringtones so that I would not have to listen to the annoying one that comes with the phone, and so I could have a special one for my wife. I refuse to sink any more money into ringtones after this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      krum, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:46pm

      Re: Verizon

      You don't have to hack your phone. Try converting your mp3's to .mmf files.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Technically semi-literate, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:50pm

        Re: Re: Verizon

        How do you get it onto your phone? My (yes, Verizon) phone doesn't have any (obvious) way to connect to my computer.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Mr Ascii, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Verizon

          If I remember correctly, you can email it to yourself at ##########@vtext.com.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            ZeTron, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Verizon

            Correct (and the ########## is your phone number.)

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              identicon
              Jessica, May 11th, 2008 @ 6:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Verizon

              Yeaaaah Verizon has now blocked incoming media messages with mp3 or wav files to your phones. You can't send them from your computer anymore. Pictures work. But not any kindof sound file. I'm at my wits end, I've tried the data cable route, AND the microSD card as well, and nothing. Verizon has 100% crippled the use of a phone I own (not them) and didn't even purchase THROUGH them as a plausible excuse for them to mess with it. VERIZON WIRELESS IS A GREEDY CORPORATION AND A HUGE RIP OFF!!!!!!!!!!!

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jake, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:33pm

    Ringtones and Public Performance

    Please dear God let the RIAA and its fellow-travelling organisations abroad take up the cause for a ban; if they pull it off, I'll forgive them being complete fuckwits the rest of the time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Gunnar, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 2:45pm

    I had to hack my phone to get songs on it, and I know what I'm doing. If ringtone sales are going down, I'd bet it's because it has become easier to put ringtones on the more popular and/or free-with-purchase phones; not because the people hadn't thought of ripping songs from their cds and putting them on the phones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jebediah, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:11pm

    Maybe people are finally catching on to what a ripoff ringtones are. Why would anyone pay $3.00 for a 30 second clip of a song when you can pay $.99 for the whole damn song.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 3:14pm

    Telus a cellular Telco in Canada actually blocks bluetooth file-transfer and out of network ringtone transfers. You have to buy a datatransfer cable to transfer files or copy over unrestricted manufacturer firmware to restore functionality.

    They also 'coincidently' run their own ringtone, background and game download service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anne, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 4:34pm

    It's fun to hack your own phone and make your own

    There's only one reason I won't pay Verizon for a ringtone. 99 cents is an absolutely fair price to pay BUT they want 99 cents per ringtone chosen plus a monthly subscription fee of $3, AND at the end of 12 months, you have to renew that .99 cent ringtone if you want to keep using it.

    I am not paying $37 a year for the privilege of having a custom ringtone! The current Verizon phone Samsung SCH-u740 that I have requires more hacking skill than previous mobile phones I've owned. But it can be done. I spent more than $37 worth of my time figuring out how to accomplish this task, but I now have the satisfaction of hearing my own preferred ringtone.

    I also don't consider this hacking, as I am not stealing mobile phone service - I pay and have paid $50 a month for a dozen years as a Verizon wireless customer. And I would have been okay with paying one time for the ringtone but not over and over again. In fact, they could have charged me a one-time $5 fee for that ringtone and I would have paid it. I just morally object to being screwed in the ass to the tune of $37 a year for a lousy ringtone.

    Another aside. I'm also a T-Mobile customer, with a PDA that you would have to shoot me dead for if you were a robber. They will have to pry it out of my cold dead hands before I let go. T-Mobile claims that no custom ringtones are available for this device. They won't even try to sell you a ringtone - flat out, no custom ring tones will work.

    It took me all of five minutes to figure out how to crack the legs of that w---e open, and the T-Mobile MDA does indeed also accept custom ringtones. You just have to figure it out, that's all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Tom T, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 4:42pm

    With a little help I could???

    Does anyone know where I could find information on my Pantech Dual Slider from Helio? I would like to move some previously purchased ringtones to it, but have no Idea how to push them to this phone..

    Thanks in advance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anne, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 4:53pm

      Re: With a little help I could???

      Try texting the sound file to yourself using your mobile number. It should be yourmobilenumber@yourcellprovider.com.

      (The only reason I didn't try this with my Verizon mobile phone is that I have text blocked on that account. The first day I started using my new SCH-U740 I was suddenly blitzed with text spam, even though I've had that same mobile phone number for years.)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Rose M. Welch, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 8:29pm

    Smugness.

    I don't purchase products that are intended to cripple me.

    I use a Samsung that comes with a mini-SD card that I load ringtones unto and then to my phone. I create the ringtones with Audacity (a free open-source program) using DRM-free mp3's purchased from Amazon. Woot!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Jessica Poss, May 11th, 2008 @ 6:04pm

      Re: Smugness. (verizon ringtones ripoff)

      K see I have verizon (EnV phone) and I bought a microSD card for it, but that doesn't matter, they've set up their menu system to completely cripple any functional use. You can't back up your contacts, you can't move an audio file to the phone as anything other than a "sound" (which is pointless!) and you can't turn a "sound" into a "ringtone". I had a data cable with the Razr a year and a half ago and experienced the exact same problem, so tell me how on earth you're able to load ringtones from a card to the phone and have it work as that?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jeff, Mar 31st, 2008 @ 9:49pm

    Pay for ringtones? Yeah, right

    So we're supposed to pay for ringtones, when we don't even pay for the MP3's? What sort of business model is that? Heck, I've owned the rights to the songs since I bought them on vinyl decades ago, I shouldn't have to pay a dime more if I want them on CD, on my mp3 player or on my phone. Fortunately, my T-Mobile Dash will use ANY mp3 file as a ringtone, and with a 2 GB Micro SD card and bluetooth headphones, it makes a great media player too (with streaming FM radio via T-Mobile's Edge). Try that on yer Iphony!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    SimonTek, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 1:15am

    hmm

    I have a Blackberry Pearl from Cingular (I refuse to call it by its new name). But I can no problem make mp3's my ringtones. I love the phone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2009 @ 7:18am

    Dzm4Es ozedulbtfgiv, [url=http://mqlyyayffcvt.com/]mqlyyayffcvt[/url], [link=http://koenlwhsklbw.com/]koenlwhsklbw[/link], http://eunwvmrbqktn.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This