Here’s some bad news for the music ringtone market from research firm IBISWorld: Music ringtone sales are declining for the second consecutive year and it looks the market is on its way out.
“Music ringtones practically boomed overnight, but with two consecutive years of decline it seems the industry is exiting just as rapidly as it entered,” said Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld, in a report.
Sales are expected to total just $750 million in 2009. The market peaked in 2007, with sales of $880 million. IBISWorld says that the music ringtone market went directly from growth to decline, instead of following the normal business lifecycle of growth, maturation and decline.
The firm cited demand for digital albums and singles as the cause behind the eroding mobile ringtone market. Early ringtones were bought via text and cost consumers up to $5 a song. Now, songs are sold for less than a dollar over Web-enabled handsets.
“Mobile phones are now truly wireless Internet devices and allow consumers to download full songs for ringtones rather than the 30-second versions available in the past,” said van Beeck. “Providers like iTunes and Amazon.com have revolutionized the way we buy and use music, driving consumers to hang up on ringtones.”