Ringtones Are Still Four Times Bigger Than Spotify, Rhapsody, & Pandora, Combined

Don’t forget about Africa, or Asia, or the rest of the world…

Because if you think the ringtone is dead, you might be in the wrong part of the world.  Gartner Research pointed to something very similar last year, and according to the latest data presented this week in Korea, ringtones remain a massive revenue generator worldwide.  “Personalization and ringtones are still big, this is a worldwide average so it varies from country by country,” Midem CEO Bruno Corlot told an audience at MU:CON Seoul this week.  “In Asian countries and mostly in Africa, ringtone numbers are still huge, real huge.”

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“These ringtone revenues are still four times the revenues of these well-known streaming revenues,” Corlot continued. “Of course we hear more about Rhapsody, Pandora, and Spotify than ringtone services, but at the end of the day, today, the business is still split with all kinds of products.”

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There’s only one problem: ringtones are steadily declining, and will probably sunset in the next few years.  Gartner sees that happening around 2015 or so, though legacy formats can be tricky.  As one example, executives in Korea pointed to continued CD album purchasing in nearby Japan, an unexpected stronghold for another declining legacy.

Report by Paul Resnikoff from MU:CON in Seoul.

7 Responses

  1. ringtones4ever

    If it wasn’t for Itunes/iphones, the ringtone market in Europe/US would have been dead by now. But with so many ringtone apps on Itunes (many offering pirated content from major artists for free), I doubt that it will last till 2015.

  2. what the

    Just read that Spotify is projected to generate over $2 billion a year in revenue by December 2015. (a little more than 3 years from now).

  3. Peggy Dold


    Did Bruno break this out by country? I’d love to see a breakout for LatAm.

  4. Visitor

    I guess it is good news that someone somewhere is still willing to pay for music and not steal it.