Americans to go on a ringtone spree
Asia, Europe welcome Americans to
the club as a taste for ringtones - ranging as usual from the good to the
absolute worst - and other audio accessories is acquired.
According to a recent Yankee Group report, the U.S. audio accessory market is
currently $80 million USD, and has the capability to reach $1 billion USD per
year - a number similar to other major geographic regions. However, the research
firm predicts, true wireless music will not hit the mainstream for a few years.
The Yankee Group has upgraded its 2003 United States ringtone market estimate to
$80 million USD from $50 million USD, citing customers' sustained willingness to
pay premiums for the right tune. By 2008, the U.S. audio accessory market,
including ringtones, ring tunes and calling tones, will be worth $1 billion USD.
Today's global market is more than $2.5 billion USD.
"As ringtones are the first globally successful mobile micropayment application,
and true mobile music promises to be one of the first mobile macropayment
applications, the music industry will have a profound impact on the shape of the
wireless industry," says Adam Zawel, the Yankee Group's Wireless/Mobile
Applications & Commerce director. "Specifically, record companies will drive the
wireless industry to support a DRM (Digital Rights Management) framework - one
that protects content within the closed environs of the wireless networks, and
as it flows over local area connections to devices not connected to the
Also among the predictions of the Yankee Group is that audio capabilities will
improve gradually and will play a greater role as an enhancement to games and
multimedia on phones and PDAs; however, the pure audio experience of listening
to music must wait for the development of four trends: home network growth, WAN
improvements, device convergence and the resolution of wireless DRM.