The $11 Billion Industry

By: Joey Nana-Asare

Do you remember the ubiquitous Crazy Frog and its ilking?

A new report from Informa Telecoms and Media predicts that by 2010, mobile music will be worth $11.3bn, with nearly $6.8bn worth of real tones - mobile phone ringtones that sound like a real song rather than digitized music - sold by the end of the decade. Ringtones of all varieties are expected to be worth $4.9bn this year, with almost all ringtones set to become real music by 2010

The voice ringtones market, which adds a voice channel to the polyphonic sound such that the actual song is sung when the ringtones plays are the next wave in the ringtones market. The interesting thing about ringtones is that they are truly an entertainment service and only marginally related to communication and messaging. Ringtones are the most popular type of content downloads to mobile phones. They are the second most popular nonvoice mobile data services after standard text messaging. The bulk of the sales should take place in Asia, with the region likely to account for more than half of global demand for mobile music services including ringtones

Ringtones remain the clear consumer favorite when it comes to mobile music offerings from online websites. The mobile entertainment market faces challenges which will hinder its long term prospects because of the ongoing tussle for a large slice of the revenues from mobile operators and record companies.

For the telecommunications sector, mobile entertainment -- music, games, gambling and video -- is seen as a key income stream as profit margins from voice and messaging services get squeezed from intense competition. Additionally, ringtones are categorized as a premium content service which commands a premium end user price. Consumers are paying between $0.50 and $5.00 per ringtones, with a typical price being $2.00. This is a substantial price premium compared to other mobile data services. Revenues from ringtones can therefore be significant

There's a direct link between the popularity of real music ringtones and the number of iPods. Soon there will be more mobile phones capable of playing music out there than iPods. so watch out ipod .The recording industry sees mobile content as a better bet than web music salest, the industry is starting to see mobile music as a whole revenue stream. And the ringtones market is expected to blossom further as consumers download entire songs on their phones through 3G technologies, and customized ring back tones enable callers to hear songs instead of conventional network ringing tones. The phenomenon is also opening up new distribution avenues for songwriters.

Whether you're sitting on the bus or walking down the street, you can now enjoy your music more conveniently. Your favorite tunes are only one touch away.

Furthermore, with web connectivity you can enjoy high quality music on the go; this is further pushing the boundaries of mobile music.

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