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BMI Projects Downturn in 2007 Ringtone Sales

Posted in News on March 27, 2007

Ringbacks To Generate $65 Million in Retail Revenues

BMI has released its annual projection for U.S. ringtone sales and for the first time released a U.S. ringback tone market projection for 2007, estimating that the 2007 music ringtone market will dip to $550 million in retail sales, down $50 million from calendar year 2006. BMI pegged the market at $600 million in calendar year 2006, $500 million in 2005, $245 million in 2004 and $68 million in 2003.

BMI projects that ringbacks will generate approximately $65 million in retail content revenues in 2007, the company’s first market estimate of the long-awaited rollout of the ringback tone market. A ringback tone is a musical work that is performed to the caller when they place a call to a participating mobile subscriber.

BMI’s estimates are based on more than 520 million individual, detailed ringtone transactions analyzed by the organization over the past 12 consecutive quarters. BMI tracks census sales data on more than 325 outlets for the sale of mobile entertainment in the U.S.

“As we forecasted last year, the ringtone market matured in 2006. The slowdown in ringtone growth, however, was partially offset by the first wave of promising U.S. growth in ringback tones,” said BMI Vice President of New Media and Strategic Development, Richard Conlon. “We believe that the ringtone market’s growth has leveled off and the novelty phase has ended. We envision increased revenue opportunity in the streaming sectors of the mobile entertainment market, ranging from ringtones to audiovisual cellular phone TV-style offerings.”

Since entering the market in 2001, BMI has tracked and processed more than 520,000,000 individual ringtone sales by title, artist and gross retail revenues generated. BMI also tracks titles and revenues associated with ringback tone services. BMI’s database of earnings and titles is believed to be the most comprehensive in the industry. BMI uses the data that it collects to distribute public performance royalties on a pro-rated basis to its affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers.

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