Friday, April 15, 2005

Coldplay Calling

More on ringtone sales.

Ringtones add audio to the pallet of fashion accessories available to the fashion cool.

Like an audio perfume the ringtone allows the cell user to distinguish themselves from the crowd with their subtle display of personal taste.

An article from Technology Review:

Coldplay Calling
By Eric Hellweg April 15, 2005

Fans of British rock band Coldplay take delight in the group's lush, full sound and the keening vocals of front man Chris Martin. Fans of mobile smart phones, though, take great pleasure in personalizing their mini-machines.

This week, the two met, thanks to an exclusive deal between the band and Cingular Wireless. Even though it may be hard for music fans of a certain vintage to believe that rich-sounding music can be channeled through the tiny, tinny speaker of a cell phone, the $209 million market -- which has nearly doubled since last year -- suggests that the mobile masses have few qualms with the sound quality.

When Cingular Wireless launched its new ringtone service this week with the exclusive release of "Speed of Sound", the first Coldplay single from its upcoming album XY, the response from fans was immediate.

"We've been floored," says Mark Nagel, director for entertainment and downloadable services for Cingular. Fans can plunk down $2.49 to purchase a 15-second song snippet that can be used as their phone's ringtone.

Cingular scored a coup by locking up an exclusive deal with one of the most eagerly anticipated bands of 2005 and offering a listen to its latest before any traditional outlets -- radio and MTV.

It's a trend that the wireless industry is happy to accommodate: The Yankee Group estimates that the 2004 market for ringtones in the US was $209 million, up from $117 million in 2003.

Aside from the obvious appeal of the filthy lucre, releasing a song as a mobile ringtone "gets a track to an audience in a direct way," says Andy Volanakis, president and chief operating officer of, a ringtone provider. "On radio you have commercials, clutter, (and) other songs you're competing with. You could argue this is a more direct way to reach a user."

"Bands are starting to see checks coming in from the mobile deals," says Mary Stuyvesant, general manager for entertainment marketing at Infospace. "They want to raise themselves above the noise, and ringtones are a great way to do that."

"People like ringtones," says Barrabee. "The ringtone says something about you. It's making your phone as personalized as possible."

Coldplay Calling

Billboard Top Ten Ringtones


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