DID YOU KNOW?
Did you know the ringtone industry has more than $4 billion in global sales, however, it has been in decline since 2006? Before mobile phone users immediately select a ringtone from the dozens of the pre-installed ones when they buy a new phone and some even download more and assign different ringtones to people. But more than a decade later, ringtones are now obsolete following a sharp decline in its sales. According to the Recording Industry Association of America sales data, ringtone and ringback downloads have only reached $34.2 million of sales in 2017 which is a 97% slump from its peak in 2007 that reached $1.1 billion. Back in those days, ringtones were a fashion accessory as people want to personalize their phones with the newest and coolest ringtones and even music artists have created ringtone versions of their songs to sell. So what happened? One of the big reasons consumers are abandoning the use of ringtones might simply because mobile phones don’t ring as much as they used to. And nowadays, smartphones are indispensable that means people are always holding their phones which allows them to put it on vibrate instead rather than let it ring. Additionally, the world has become a text-centric society particularly among young users who don’t make calls as often, which means ringtones have become less of a priority.
Moreover, the gradual decline of the ringtone and ringback industry has been bittersweet for the music industry. Broadcast Music Inc’s Richard Conlon says BMI made more money from ringtones than anything else in the early digital days and now when they think about it, it’s basically zero.