Online "Thievery" Costs Ringtone Industry

from the put-your-hands-up-and-drop-the-ringtone dept

We’re used to bogus, inflated claims of losses due to piracy from the computer software industry, the movie business and the music industry, so it shouldn’t be too surprising to see some crazy numbers saying ringtone vendors are losing money thanks to online “shoplifters”. The key difference here, though, is these numbers aren’t coming from the vendors themselves, blowing hot air about their perceived losses, but an even less unbiased party: a company looking to sell its “secure” commerce products. Apparently some ringtone and music vendors let users preview content before buying, and this somehow translates into “lost” sales because there’s a possibility a user will swipe the preview and not buy the content, which is apparently “the mobile and cyber-equivalent of test-driving a car and then not having to give it back”. Of course, like all the other bogus loss claims, the company assumes that every user that is happy to take the preview would have bought the content — which isn’t the case. In any case, plenty of companies selling ringtones are doing a perfectly adequate job of shooting themselves in the foot without having to blame pirates.

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