According to report author Dr Windsor Holden, “Last year we saw the major network operators and players taking the first tentative steps towards the mass distribution of master recordings via mobile handsets. This year the operators are substantially increasing their catalogues as more labels come on board, while the vendors are producing more handsets with integrated music players.”
Dr Holden added that it was likely that ring-back tones would generate the majority of their revenues amongst fashion-conscious teenagers and young adults.
“By subscribing, they can demonstrate to their callers (usually their peer group) that they are keeping up with the musical times by having the latest number one on their ring-back tone as well as their ringtone,” he said.
Other findings from the report include:
- Total value of global mobile music market to rise by 39% in 2005 to nearly $5 billion.
- Europe expected to lead revenue growth in short term, to be overhauled once more by Asia-Pacific revenues by 2007.
- European ringtone price levels are unsustainable and are expected to fall by more than 46% over the next five years; North American prices to fall by 33% over the same period.
- Sixty million ring-back tone subscribers worldwide in 2005, rising to more than 300 million in 2009.
- Annual number of full-track downloads to reach 1 billion in 2008.