RIP Ringtones: $1B Industry Bites the Dust

Who wants to talk on their phone anymore?
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2010 10:55 AM CST
At some point, America was willing to spend money on ringtones.   (©@cdharrison)

(Newser) – The ringtone industry, which just two years ago was raking in $1 billion annually, will be dead and gone by 2016, analysts predict. Revenue is already plummeting—to about $750 million this year—for one obvious reason: Phones don’t ring very often anymore. “People used to talk on their cellphones,” one researcher tells Fortune. “We’ve become a text-centric society, which takes us away from ringtones.”

The average cellphone user now sends 584 texts per month, up from 218 two years ago; over the same period, calls have fallen 15%. Of course, it’s also possible that the public slowly realized how cheesy their ringtones were. The only thing worse than a cellphone ringing at an inappropriate time, after all, is a cellphone playing Bon Jovi at an inappropriate time.

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