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Ringtone Sales Fizzling August 16, 2009

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
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Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), an organization that collects royalties for song writers and publishers, is forecasting that overall ringtone sales in the US will fall 7 percent in 2008 to approximately $510 million.

“The ringtone market continues to decline as the novelty phase wears off,” said Richard Conlon, BMI’s vice president of new media and development.

Major music companies have been counting on sales of digital products – ringtones included – to offset sinking CD sales.

Album sales, including downloadable album bundles and CDs, are off 11.8 percent year to date, following a 15 percent drop in 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

However, record company executives cautioned that BMI’s numbers don’t tell the whole story.

“I don’t think we have quite hit the ceiling yet,” said Amanda Marks, executive vice president and general manager of digital distribution for Universal Music Group Distribution.
She argued that ringtone sales could yet see an uptick if all carriers made it easier to shop for ringers and other mobile music products.

Meanwhile, Conlon said that despite the problems for ringtones, there are other promising mobile music products that could help expand overall mobile music revenues for the industry.

Topping that list: Sales of ringback tones, songs that a person making a call hears in place of a tradition ringing sound, which are expected to grow 50 percent to $210 million in 2008

Digital Promo Pack Helps Retailers Harness Power of Internet & Digital Entertainment to Boost Sales July 28, 2009

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Online promotions are soaring and are expected to triple in the next five years. The reason. They work?

To help retailers drive traffic and boost sales this fall shopping season, Digital Promotions and e-Marketing Firm RC Strategies Group has launched Digital Promo Pack™, a suite of customizable, turnkey digital incentives that offers something for every demographic.

Digital Promo Pack™, which includes digital promotions ranging from music downloads and audiobooks, to personalized cell phone and laptop covers, provides both online and brick and mortar retailers with powerful, easy-to-implement promotions that harness the power of the Internet and the universal appeal of digital entertainment to incent customers and motivate them to act.

“In today’s tough economy, engaging customers in a personalized way and rewarding them for their business is key to any successful sales strategy,” notes Ingrid Ricks, Principal of RC Strategies Group. “With our Digital Promo Pack™, retailers can select the digital incentive that best targets their unique customer base and we do the rest – from issuing promo codes, to branding and card printing, to fulfillment and support.”

About RC Strategies Group
Since 2003, RC Strategies Group has helped businesses increase sales and build customer relationships through digital promotions and e-marketing strategies. RC Strategies Group, a digital promotions and e-marketing firm headquartered in Seattle, combines digital promotions, online marketing, public relations and social media strategies to provide clients with the complete solution they need to drive the results they want. Contact:
Ingrid Ricks, Principal
Call: 425-281-0415
Email: ingrid@rcstrategiesgroup.com
Visit: http://www.rcstrategiesgroup.com

ASCAP Sues For Ringtone Use July 21, 2009

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File this under “some wrongheaded corporate shit:”

It seems that the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has sued for ringtone use insisting that each time a phone rings in a public place, the phone user has violated copyright law. Therefore, ASCAP argues, phone carriers must pay additional royalties or face legal liability for contributing to what they claim is cell phone users’ copyright infringement.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged a federal court to reject this bogus copyright claim in as this could raise costs for consumers and jeopardize consumer rights. Worse, these wrongheaded legal claims cast a pall over innovators who are building gadgets that help consumers get the most from their copyright privileges.

“This is an outlandish argument from ASCAP,” said EFF Senior Intellectual Property Attorney Fred von Lohmann. “Are the millions of people who have bought ringtones breaking the law if they forget to silence their phones in a restaurant? Under this reasoning from ASCAP, it would be a copyright violation for you to play your car radio with the window down!

“Because it is legal for consumers to play music in public, it’s also legal for my mobile phone carrier to sell me a ringtone and a phone to do it,” said von Lohmann. “Otherwise it would be illegal to sell all kinds of technologies that help us enjoy our fair use, first sale, and other copyright privileges.”

ASCAP responded by saying that it does not plan to charge mobile phone users, just mobile phone service providers. If ASCAP prevails, consumers could find themselves targeted by other copyright owners for “public performances.”

EFF points out that copyright law does not reach public performances “without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage” — clearly the case with cell phone ringtones. If phone users are not infringing copyright law, then mobile phone service providers are not contributing to any infringement.