Ring tones start to catch on in the US By Robert Jaques The US audio accessory market is
currently worth $80m but could reach $1bn a year, according to Yankee Group.
The analyst has upgraded its 2003 US ring tone market estimate to $80m from
$50m, as customers show sustained willingness to pay premiums for the right
tune. The global market is worth more than $2.5bn.
By 2008, the US audio accessory market - including ring tones, ring tunes and
calling tones - will be worth $1bn. But true wireless music will not hit the
mainstream for a few years, the report said.
"As ring tones are the first globally successful mobile micro-payment
application, and true mobile music promises to be one of the first mobile
macro-payment applications, the music industry will have a profound impact on
the shape of the wireless industry," said Adam Zawel, Yankee Group wireless
He added that audio capabilities will improve gradually and will play a greater
role as an enhancement to games and multimedia on phones and PDAs.