Ringtones are not the fast route to riches for mobile operators that they once were, according to analysts.
A mixture of competition, alterative applications and a ringtone scams has brought an end to the boom times for ringtone providers, Canalys reported today.
“There is a shift toward monthly offers rather than one of sales and more teenagers want music on their phones as opposed to just a ringtone.,” said Canalys analyst Chris Jones.
The ringtone market has also been saturated with market players. Leading names like Infospace and Monstermob compete against hundreds of small players touting services via advertising slots in free magazines.
According to the Canalys, downloading ringtones is increasingly being seen as something of a fad that has also been damaged by criminal activity that saw thousands of youngsters sign up to services on subscription agreements in error as well as being charged for receiving extra text messages. Unsubscribing from such services was often difficult or, in some cases, almost impossible to do.
There is now an increasing trend to move away from ‘polyphonic’ versions of famous tunes to short clips of original music known as ‘truetones’ or ‘realtones’.
The ringtone market currently accounts for between 6 and 10 per cent of music industry revenues worldwide, according to Jupiter Research. It is estimated that 20 per cent of mobile users worldwide have downloaded content to their phones at some time.
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