Now We Just Have To Sell 2.7 Billion Of These

from the ring-ring-cha-ching dept

We noted soon after the eBay purchase that part of Skype’s grand plan was to sell users ringtones and wallpaper for their software clients. Skype’s convinced Warner Music that this is a good idea, and will begin selling ringtones of Warner artists for $1.50 each. Of course, Warner is the label that thinks by making mobile phone ringtones even shorter, and giving them a new name, they’ll be able to charge even more for it. We’ve talked about how the price of ringtones on mobile phones isn’t necessarily comparable to the price of full-track downloads, since downloads are about entertainment, while ringtones are about self-expression and personalization. It’s one thing to make that comparison on the mobile phone, but when people already have a bunch of mp3s on their computer, why not just make it easy for them to use those for ringtones? Or sell them a full-track download that includes a ringtone? Maybe that would be worth a 50-cent premium over the going rate for song downloads. In any case, if this is how eBay plans to make back the $4.1 billion they’re spending on Skype, they’d better get back to the drawing board.

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Comments on “Now We Just Have To Sell 2.7 Billion Of These”

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Matt Ward (user link) says:

Not a loss-maker?

Apple have already commented that the price of a track on iTunes is less than the price they are charged for the song, and that iTunes is simply a platform for selling iPod’s which more than make up for the loss on iTunes.

As cellcos in the UK give away free phones with contracts, and I therefore assume that’s what they do in the US, I doubt they’d want to make selling ringtones a loss-maker, so perhaps the $1.50 price tag is purely a business figure in order to profit from their sale rather than lose money as Apple do, as they don’t have any particular profit-making gadget to shift (as the cellcos aren’t responsible for the manufacture or profit generated from the sale of mobile phones)

Ro (user link) says:

Read between the lines

First off, I read techdirt daily, but ultimately, when even Om lets go of the Skype vitriol…

Here’s the deal, Skype working with TW is a clear indication of several things. 1) Fortune 1000 companies are clearly not shy working with Skype 2) if this has any pickup, could TW extend this to sell other media on the largest legal p2p network currently used?

Imagine if Voice Communications was just a great lead-in for establishing a global legal p2p distribution channel for data. If I can buy ring tones, could I buy music or videos or software or any other online media? What if all those purchases went through Paypal? Is that worth $2.6B?

Skype is generating $100+ revenues from Voice calls alone. The TW deal is just an early indication of whats to come…

Adam says:

No Subject Given

I don’t understand why you guys continuely post these articles about this as if there is no way around it.

Most intelligent users like myself just use a USB wire or BlueTooth to transfer as many mp3’s from our computers as we please for free.

Anyone who reads sites like techdirt more than likly is already well aware of the free solutions for transfering mp3s as ringtones to your mobile phone for free as much as you like.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

I don’t understand why you guys continuely post these articles about this as if there is no way around it.

I think you’re missing the point of why we’re posting them. We know that there are ways around it, and we’ve pointed that out in the past. The point, though, is what a silly business move this is, not telling people how to get around it.

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