According to the US-based performing rights organisation, the BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), the ringtone is on the decline. What is replacing it is the ringback tone. What's a ringback tone? When you call someone, instead of hearing a standard ringing tone, you hear a piece of music instead.
Whilst the ringtone market, in the USA, has declined from a high, in 2006, of $600 million down to a predicted $510 in 2008, the ring-back market should surpass $210 in 2008, up 50% from 2007.
Meanwhile, the analyst outfit, IDC, has predicted that ringback tones will overtake ringtones, globally, in 2010 to become the single largest revenue source for mobile entertainment.
A source close to IDC commented that, "One could argue that because ringback tones is the most closely tied into the network and cannibalisation from third parties is virtually impossible, it has some additional advantages over other mobile entertainment services and content types for mobile network operators."
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