Realtones – the new craze in the Mobile Market
A few years ago, Nokia was the prime leader in the mobile music market with its unique feature then of monophonic ringtones.
Those truetones are basically realtones with a strange sound. Some truetones sound like farting. Some truetones feature celebrities talking to you. Then, there is something called nametones, songs having a name in them. There are plenty of nametones available in the market and it is most of the time possible that you get a nametone with your name in it. For instance, if your name is John, your nametone would sound like: John, your phone is ringing.
Realtones didn't take time in beating market for polyphonic ringtones and in fact became the market leader within fraction of days. It accounted for over 76 percent of consumer expenditure on personalization of music for mobile ringtone setting in the year 2006. Realtones are increasingly in demand for self-expression, a la iPod. The mobile content value chain had been largely influenced by ringtones, with monophonic and polyphonic ringtones getting published for every phone model.
This resulted into the opening up of varied businesses for companies including Infospace and Jamba, who now not just publish ringtones but also interact with carriers for distribution and billing purposes. Many other international mobile content providers are stiff competitors for these companies who provide true tones without any charge. After the market has shifted its preference towards true tones and the formats have been standardized to Internet-based files, the added value of such third parties does not exist anymore. Record labels now publish their own songs and interact with the carriers of mobile phones for their distribution and billing services. Thus, there is no middlemen role anymore.
Realtones have, no doubt, fetched large amount of business for mobile music industrialists. Record labels, for instance, frequently release the tones before the single to enjoy the first-mover advantage in the market, as realtones usually outperform singles. Madonna, for example, released her song Hung Up in the form of realtone before releasing the single. Realtones are the latest craze in the market, when you can set your favorite song as your ringtone.
The mobile phones supporting realtones are not expensive either for one to afford, but quite expensive as compared to handsets with polyphonic ringtones. But people still do not mind paying a higher price for it, as they get good quality and ringtones of their choice. These are expensive as they are launched by record companies, who charge around USD 150 for a single ringtone. Though not every phone is compatible with realtones, they have already gained an impetus in the mobile music sector and are today the leading product in the download market.
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