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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Are you ready for ringbacks? Verizon Wireless is offering them in select areas, and will be rolling out availability throughout 2005.

So what are they, exactly?

The ring-back tone is what callers hear between the time they finish entering the digits and the time the call is answered. In the United States, these tones are rarely customized, so they usually sound the same no matter whom is being called…

Subscribers can choose from a catalog of more than 2,200 songs in 13 genres. The music is supplied by Warner Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

Based on their modest success among wireless subscribers overseas, providers are looking for ringbacks to generate a healthy business in the States.

Not everyone agrees:

“Ringback tones are, essentially, a fashion statement. Their only real purpose is to show off to others who are calling you. The problem, then, is that fashion statements go out of fashion - sometimes very quickly,” [technology consultant Michele Mackenzie] said.

My prediction: U.S. phone companies will do a ham-handed job of differentiating between ringtones and ringbacks, leading to consumer confusion and rejection. Ringtone sales will continue to grow, but ringbacks will remain obscure and seldom-bought.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/28/2004 11:15:33 PM
Category: Tech, Business | Permalink |

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