Music Labels Focus On Ringtones

from the yeah,-like-that-will-last dept

It appears that the music labels, rather than actually looking to figure out how they're going to deal with this digital music issue, are, instead, simply walking naively into the next mess. Since they haven't quite figured out really how to make downloadable music work yet (though, they keep hoping they have) they're turning to the new revenue source they never expected: ringtones. They've suddenly noticed that kids are paying $2.50 for a fragment of a song they won't pay a $1 to download completely, which leads to things like Warner Brothers actually advertising ringtones rather than the regular music itself. WB is now specifically advertising ringtones from the next Green Day album, including the lovely one with a member of the band saying: "It's your mother. I know. She's with me." It's no surprise that the labels are focusing on this market, given the basic economics, but they seem to be doing so under the assumption that they won't face the same problem they faced with file sharing. In fact, with the release of things like Xingtone, the labels are going to have increasing difficulty holding onto this market. But rather than figuring out ways to deal with it, they're just jumping on a bandwagon while it's hot. It's a short term strategy from the ultimate short-term thinkers.

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  • identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, 18 Aug 2004 @ 8:59am

    Phone carriers

    A lot of the expense in the ringtone market goes directly into the pockets of the carriers themselves, either through direct sales of the ringtones, or charging a ridiculous per KB charge for all data going through their mandatory gateway.

    Sprint sells ringtones on their website, but they also allow you the freedom to download free ringtones from numerous websites without having to pay any sort of 'gateway service fee' (you do have to pay for wireless internet access or pay a very small per KB charge).

    I've got several 'copyrighted' ringtones on my phone and haven't paid the MPAA or anyone else for the rights - guess that makes me a terrorist.

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

  • identicon
    Mike, 19 Aug 2004 @ 5:41am

    More child marketing

    "They've suddenly noticed that kids are paying $2.50 for a fragment of a song they won't pay a $1 to download completely"

    You mean people with no jobs are spending mommy and daddy's hard earned cash on something that isn't worth it. Say it isn't so. ;-)

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

  • identicon
    Anthony Wayne, 25 Aug 2005 @ 8:13am

    Clone Tones

    The record labels have already chased away nearly all of the independent third-party ringtone providers by charging $10,000 fixing fees per song and asking for 50% of the gross when the carriers are already taking 45% of the gross for premium SMS sales. The public definitely wants the real song "realtones" when their cell phone rings, but because of the exorbitant costs, they are likely to get a "clone tone."

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


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