According to Moco.News, Billboard is planning on launching a ringtones chart in the U.S. This was confirmed in a recent Wall Street Journal story on the subject, and it should be interesting to see what comes of this.
Some companies in the past have made their top downloaded ringtones lists available, but there to date hasn’t been a standard “chart” in the U.S. with the status that Billboard brings.
According to a chart in today’s WSJ, accompanying a story written by Ethan Smith, Consect LLC says that Western Europe leads the world ringtone market, with $1.5 billion of the pie, followed by Japan ($1 billion), the rest of the world ($0.7 billion), South Korea ($0.5 billion) and finall the U.S. ($0.3 billion).
Some of the reasons to the U.S. lagging include contractual disputes with the several writers often credited to one pop song (such as one that probably cost those involved hundreds of thousands of dollars due to taking too long to release a ringtone of Usher’s hit “Yeah!” when Lil Jon’s representation at TVT’s music publishing arm delayed things to be sure it was legit), technology restrictions, and the threat of piracy.
It will be interesting to see what happens with the U.S. ringtone market, especially as cellphones and digital music players begin to meld, holding large amounts of digital music. The market “will be a big business for the next few years and then it’s going to go away,” says veteran music attorney Jay L. Cooper in the Journal story. He goes onto say that companies could be losing millions a day by not taking advantage while the market potential is hot.
[Credit: Wall Street Journal, Moco.News]