Blog Post

Mobile Music Looks Beyond Ringtones

Now that the ringtone market is “nearing saturation” with growth rates expected to fall to a mere 20% this year, the mobile music industry is looking into other ways people can personalize their mobile phones with music. “Within a matter of weeks, several wireless operators are expected to introduce musical “alert tones” — a snippet of a song lasting between two and five seconds, that users can assign to play when they receive incoming text messages and voice mail, similar to a ringtone.” There’s no indication as to how much these will cost, but considering ringtones can be put as alert tones (and MP3s as both) it shouldn’t be that much.
However, the story delves into that most important of questions: “Will subscribers want to buy them? The market for music-related phone personalization options is getting a bit saturated — ringtones, video ringtones, wallpaper images, ringback tones, alert tones…However, it may be too much of a good thing. “The personalization thing would appear to be played out,” says Seamus McAteer, executive VP/senior analyst at mobile monitoring firm M:Metrics. “There are lots of ways music can be used to make a statement or add context, but it can go from the sublime to the ridiculous. You can’t just add a jingle to everything you want to do with a phone. There are limits.”