Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ringback tones on the rise

Ringback tones continue to gain traction even as the U.S. ringtone market plateaus, according to new figures from M:Metrics.

The market research firm found that the popularity of ringback tones—music clips that a caller hears instead of a traditional ring before the person being called answers the phone—more than tripled last year, exploding from 2.4 million subscribers in January to nearly 8 million subscribers in November. The application continued to gain ground in Europe, as well, growing at a rate of roughly 150 percent in Germany and the United Kingdom during the year.

Meanwhile, ringtones remain popular, if not as lucrative. Nearly 7 percent of all U.S. wireless subscribers have made their own ringtones, M:Metrics found, as the percentage of users purchasing ringtones slipped from 10 percent of wireless consumers to less than 9 percent.


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