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Verizon Wireless Goes Ringback

Last month, we noted that ringback tones had finally come to the US, but were a bit surprised that a smaller carrier was the first to adopt them. Well, the first place prize only goes to First Cellular by a hair, as it took less than a month for Verizon Wireless to announce their own offering of ringback tones. Now, the big question is whether or not American users will jump on the bandwagon, or look at it as a strange fad. The pricing is a bit odd. First, you have to pay a $0.99/month subscription fee just to have access to the ringback tones, and then it’s $1.99 for each tone you use. The initial subscription fee may seem a bit annoying for some, and is clearly a barrier to getting people to test it out. Then, pricing the tones more than regularly downloaded songs seems a bit out of place as well — and remember that all of this is for a tone that the purchasers will never hear themselves (it’s just for callers to that person). Ringback tones have done amazingly well in Asia, so there’s clearly a lot of potential there, but it seems reasonable to wonder if it’s just a passing fad or a longer term opportunity.

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