Blog Post

Classic Rock Drives Ringtone Growth

The best selling ringtones are Hip Hop, everyone knows that, but this article argues that that is the very reason that future growth will come from other genres…specifically “songs you know” catalogue sales. “Universal Music Group (UMG), for instance, says catalogue ringtones sales are up 80% from last year and now represent 10% of all its ringtone sales…”There is a growing audience that is interested in content that speaks to them, and it’s not hip-hop,” says David Dorn, senior VP of new-media strategy for Warner Music Group’s Rhino Entertainment division. Carriers “have only featured hip-hop because that’s all that sold. Well, that’s because it’s all they’ve featured. The only area of incremental growth for them is catalogue. If all they do is focus on hip-hop, they just end up speaking to the same audience over and over.”
That sentiment can apply to a lot of things, but interestingly he’s not talking about a long tail approach. “We have to identify what we feel are the best songs for mobile content,” Dorn says. “This is not a Long Tail approach. That’s how you approach iTunes — you make really huge swaths of your catalogue available and monetize those things that have been collecting dust. The business for ringtones is all about hits and instantly recognisable songs.”
That could very well be true, and that could very well be because that’s the way the industry has marketed it…