U.S. Ringback-Tone Sales Fall Again; Will Music Streams Take Their Place?
(UPDATED) Annual U.S. mobile music projections from BMI set the value of the 2010 retail ringback-tone market in the United States at $181 million, down 7% from its revised 2009 retail forecast of $195 million. Ringtone sales peaked in 2008 at $210 million. Consumers may be abandoning short form mobile entertainment like ringbacks and ringtones in favor of full tracks and streaming.
“The falloff in the ringback-tone market mimics the deceleration of ringtone revenues several years ago, which actually sparked the birth of ringback,” noted Richard Conlon, BMI’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Communications and New Media. “We are poised for another form factor and consumer behavior shift. This shift is driven by the increase in handheld data devices, enhanced content offerings and improved wireless infrastructure. The industry is coming into alignment to deliver new streaming-based services that we feel will equate to growth.”