As charming as it is to wonder whether that grating noise you're hearing while riding public transportation is the sound of gears coming loose or the latest 50 Cent ringtone, it seems that cell phone bling just ain't as hip these days. BMI has released projections for ringtone sales in the U.S. for 2007 (at long last!!), and word on the street is that the ringtone market will slip to $550 million, down nearly $50 million from last year.
Now, there're a few salient questions I have in regard to this startling discovery. First of all, do you know what I would do with $550 million in cash? I would wrap it all up tightly and hammer it into the shape of a bed, and then I would sleep in it for three blissful months. Secondly, what would $550 million worth of ringtones sound like if they were all played at once? The answer is something Prurient is currently working on.
Does this mean the end of obnoxious cell phone gimmicks? Are we as a nation moving on to more thoughtful and lasting uses for our money? Richard Conlon, Vice Prez of New Media and Strategic Development at BMI, remains optimistic: "We envision increased revenue opportunity in the streaming sectors of the mobile entertainment market, ranging from ringtones to audiovisual cellular phone TV-style offerings."