Companies Make Real Profits from Real Tones
By Philip Nicosia
When the first cell phones rolled into the market in the 1990’s, nobody ever
expected that those clunky black boxes with their electronic shrills would
develop into sleek, powerful machines that could (aside from sending and
receiving calls) take a picture, make a video, and sing.
Yes, sing. Today’s ringtones have the audio quality equal to the sounds we hear
in real life. Say goodbye to the monophonic ringtones and its R2D2-like beeps
and whistles. And even the polyphonic ringtones sound too sharp for our tastes,
more like a music box than, well, music. Now, the standard for ringtones is real
tones—as melodic and realistic as the songs on the radio (or the sounds of the
farm, depending on which real tone you want).
Real tones are also called true tones, voice tones and name tones. But, to
borrow a phrase from Shakespeare, “A tone by any other name would sound as
sweet.” The popularity of real tones has reached a point that it’s actually
formed a large chunk of the profits of the cell phone industry.
While there are many sites that provide real tones for free (preferring to get
their earnings from clicks, ads or links) many mobile phone users actually don’t
mind paying good money for a song that they like.
Just look at the industry reports. A staggering 60% of the total revenues from
the mobile phone ringtone industry are from real tones. They are clearly
outselling monophonic ringtones and polyphonic ringtones, which only from 33% of
the revenues combined. The remaining seven percent of the total revenues were
generated from the download of callback tones.