Jun 16, 2006

"My ringtone drops in December"

Ringtones are now being kept track of by the RIAA and have become a brand new revenue stream with prices around $2.99 a pop. And with new revenue streams come awards!

"MTV: Black Eyed Peas, BeyoncĂ©, AC/DC, Chamillionaire, T-Pain, Cyndi Lauper and D4L are among the artists who were honored with the Recording Industry Association of America's inaugural Master Ringtone Sales Awards. In a ceremony on Wednesday, 84 gold (500,000 downloads), 40 platinum (1 million downloads) and four multi-platinum certifications were awarded for the music people hold dearest to their hearts — the tracks they don't mind hearing every time someone calls them. The RIAA has been certifying albums gold and platinum for 47 years, and added ringtones to the mix with Wednesday's announcements."

So what is a ringtone? It's a piece of audio you download and put onto your phone. Then, when your phone rings, you hear that audio. So imagine every time your phone rings, you hear your favorite song. Neat, huh? You can go as far as to download multiple pieces of audio and assign one to each of your contacts. The ones that earn these artists awards come "under the title of "Master Ringtone," signifying that they were created from the original masters of the songs." They can also be synthesized instrumental versions as well. Most important, they generate cash, ten per cent of the total cash the music industry hauls in to be specific:
"Just a few short years ago, it was unthinkable for sales on ringtones to go platinum," said RIAA Chairman Mitch Bainwol. "But here we are. We're transforming the way we hear our music." According to industry experts, about 10 percent of music industry revenues worldwide now come from ringtones.

The takeaway from this is that despite the drama the RIAA is making over digital music downloading, it is learning there are more than one way to skin a music fan. As more people shop for music online, we'll see more of these revenue streams emerge. (Source)

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