Ring tone revenues are projected to climb from $417 million in revenues this year to over $700 million by 2009, according to “US Ring Tone Forecast, 2004 to 2009,” a study released by Jupiter Research.
Monophonic and polyphonic ring tones are rapidly giving way to mastertones. Mastertones, or master recordings by original artists, were introduced in 2004 and brought in $15 million in revenue against $157 million earned from downloads of polyphonic ringers. At that time, monophonic ring tones brought in $44 million, and are expected to decline rapidly.
Projections for 2005 mastertones and voice ringers sales are $156 million. Polyphonic tones are still expected to grow to $224 million, while monophonic ringers should drop to $38 million.
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Forecasts show monophonic ringers falling out of the picture by 2009, when polyphonic ring tones will start to wane at $77 million. Mastertones are expected to bring $647 million by 2009.
Technology is making way for the shift to mastertones. New handsets will drive increased revenues for that category, as monophonic and polyphonic ringers reach the end of their lifecycle.
“It is an evolving market, technology is evolving,” said Julie Ask, research director at Jupiter Research. “Mastertones are becoming common features rather than high-end features.”
By the end of the current year, the installed base of ring tone-capable handsets will be at 82 percent of wireless subscribers. The market is expected to reach 100 percent by 2007, and 95 percent of those phones are expected to be mastertone-capable.