We all know that ringtones are the new 45 rpm and it appears that country music is gaining some ground in the sales of “polyphonic,” synthesizer-like reproductions of a melody, and the much more popular “mastertone” or “realtone” format, which is excerpted from an actual recording. according to Nielsen RingScan, mastertone buys accounted for 91 percent of ringtones sold last year in the United States.But so far, the big money is not quite there:
“Ringtone royalties are minuscule in the overall scheme of things,” Todd Ellis, Licensing Manager for Sony/ATV Music Publishing said. “Compared to CD sales, they’re still rather small. But they are gaining some significant income, especially in the pop and R&B worlds. Country has been a little bit slow to catch up. The really large [Country] hits will do well, ringtone-wise, for income, but the big money is still with R&B and rap songs. Ballads don’t usually do as well as ringtones because they don’t sound as good as upbeat songs that have a real catchy chorus or a cool intro.”
Apparently being hip enough to use your phone as a lame music player does not automatically mean you have forward thinking taste in music as Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood lead in country music sales of mastertone rings. No thanks, I’ll stick with my Willie Nelson “On The Road Again” ringtone when you hit me, yo.