It's not just Jay-Z, Fergie, Justin, Pharrell, Chingy or Ludacris rocking the ringtones. Or even the Crazy Frog. Jimi Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd and other Classic Rock acts are hot sellers, too. And not just for the Baby Boomers. Labels: Radio
While hip-hop acts may rule today's Billboard and BigChampagne ring tone charts, Classic Rock stars are bringing the format to a broader audience through the cellphone as fans seek new ways to personalize their gadgets. In the last year, even Rolling Stone noticed teens were saving Classic Rock.
Right now, only about 10 percent of wireless subscribers in the U.S. buy ring tones today...and most are primarily young adults purchasing hip-hop and R&B-themed content. Record labels and wireless operators are both keen to expand their markets and customer services. Exploiting the vast library of catalog music, they say, is emerging as a key strategy in that effort.
Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" is one of the best-selling catalog ring tones of all time, with more than 1.2 million units sold (also becoming the first licensed track to appear in a mobile videogame).
Catalog-based (not new song releases) ringtones are now the format's fastest-growing segment. Universal Music Group (UMG), for instance, says catalog ring tones sales are up 80 percent from last year and now represent 10 percent of all its ring tone sales.
Until recently, hip hip ringtones have been the big sellers because that's all that sold. That's changing now that back catalog deals have been secured for most major music label and cellular companies.
Take Universal's recent deal with Verizon Wireless to bring the entire Jimi Hendrix catalog to mobile for the first time. Verizon won a short-term exclusive by agreeing to promote the Hendrix content heavily in print and online campaigns, as well as prominently feature the guitarist on its ring tone sales site.
Recommendation: Classic Rock radio stations (and other catalogue-based formats) should take advantage of this label deal momentum and offer ringtone downloads deals on their own websites right away.
Expect this media trend to deepen...and don't be surprised if you hear more Classic Rock, less Hip Hop ringtones (as well as ringbacks).
Read more of this in C|net here
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, October 17, 2006,