Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ringtone demand falling, track downloading increasing

A mobile phone industry analyst has spoken about the reasons why ringtone sales are declining, while full-track downloads on handsets are increasing. Dan Winterbottom, principal analyst at Informa, said that "music is always the key revenue driver" for the mobile industry's entertainment sector. This is despite his observation that the traditionally lucrative ringtone market "is declining". He believes that people aren't growing tired of having tracks like Leona Lewis's recent download number one as the greeting when someone phones them, but instead "are finding ways of getting ringtones onto their handsets whereby they don’t actually have to buy them". This is something the mobile industry seems resigned to. Consolation comes in the form of Mr Winterbottom's observation that mobile owners are "moving into full-track downloads more and more". His eye, and ear, has been particularly caught by Vodafone's Omnifone service, where for £1.99 per week, music fans can access over 1,200,000 tunes. As soon as you stop paying your subscription all downloaded tracks will vanish from your device. In a further boost to the download market, the BBC reported on Monday that US mobile phone giant AT&T says it will give its customers direct access to digital music service Napster.


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