Blog Post

Ringtone Rights A Complete Mess, WSJ Discovers

(sub. req.) WSJ, in a front page story, no less, discovers that the rights and royalty issues related to the ringtones market (this one focuses on U.S. market), are a complete mess. Getting all the players (publishers, labels, vendors, aggregators etc) to agree on ringtone rights can be a huge morass. Meanwhile, not all cellphones play all ringtones. ((Graphic Courtesy: Claude Bossett:
No one can even agree on what to call the latest variants that play actual snippets of songs, as opposed to tinny beeps. They’ve been dubbed master-tape ringtones, ring tunes, true tones, hi-fi ringers and song tones. (Well, read Ringtonia’s terminology to start sorting this out…on ringtones here and ringbacks here
On a related note, standard ringtones typically earn publishers either 10% of the sale price or 10 cents, whichever is higher. Selling master ringtones at almost $3 a piece would earn them nearly 30 cents per sale. Some publishers, arguing that they built the ringtone business from scratch, have pushed for royalties as high as 50%…
A must read….
Related: U.S. Ringtones Market Slow to Connect