Thursday, July 08, 2004

IT'S FOR YOU-HOO: Frankly scary predictions from Baskerville/Informa Media suggest that by 2008, one in every eight pounds spent on music will be tossed away on ringtones. We can see what they're basing this on: we've only ever heard that Marion Winans song on the advert for the ringtone version of, and it's suggested that Round Round by the Sugababes made more in its Nokia version than as a proper single. However, what they don't seem to take into account is at the moment people download ringtones on their mobiles because there isn't much else to do with them, once the novelty of SMSing a badly created picture of some breasts to mates has worn off. When the technology catches up and allows people to download full tracks to their phones in large numbers, and to choose to use those when people call, it's almost certain the ringtone market will collapse.

Even if the techonology doesn't kill the ringtone, Baskerville warn that greed could do it. They warn that record labels seeking maximise their profits could push prices up, creating a vacuum in which pirates would sweep in and mop up the market meaning their payday never quite arrives. It's interesting to note that companies are starting to market cheaper tones - still a hefty quid a throw - and creating the impression that the general market price is way too high. Indeed, as more people notice that a full song, even on the pricey MyCokeMusic site, is 99p, they might start to question why a snatch comes in at GBP1.50.

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