Give it to us, say European customers
Results of the first European survey to gauge consumer demand for personalised ringback tones reveal they may be the next‘must have’ application for phone users. Predicted to be a major revenue earner for both network operators and the music industry, personalised ringback tones allow phone users to replace the standard ringing sound heard before the call connects with music, comedy or movie clips.
The survey published today by Alatto Technologies shows 37%
of all consumers aged 15-49 would subscribe to the new service. Interest was highest among the 15-24 age bracket with 68% of those willing to pay, prepared to part with between 50 cent and 2 Euro to personalise their handsets. Content type was also examined in detail. ‘TV and movie themes’ was the most popular overall choice (60%) however pop music (88%) and rock (83%) were most in favour with the youth market. The service was slightly more popular with males (53%) than with females (47%).
“The data suggests ringback tones will be as popular in Europe as they have been in Asia,” said John Whelan, Head of Research at Alatto Technologies. ‘Certainly interest in our solution, vConnect™ has been very strong. We expect to see network operators in Europe continue to launch throughout the Summer and anticipate the service will be available in Ireland before Christmas.’
SK Telecom who launched ringback tones in Korea in April 2002 has 8 Million subscribers generating more than €9 Million in new revenue each month. In Europe, T Mobil was the first operator to launch in December 2003. It claims to have more than half a million customers using their “CallerTunes” service www.callertunes.t-mobile.co.uk/ in Germany, the UK and the Czech Republic. And just last week Swedish operator COMVIQ / TELE2 launched their ring back service “ringuppsignaler”. www.comviq.se/comviqgolive/
Adam Zawel, Director of Wireless/Mobile Enterprise & Commerce at The Yankee Group welcomed the findings and said “This data confirms the Yankee Group’s opinions on the broad potential of ring back tones. Appetite for the service is not limited to Asia. If European and American carriers can
introduce the services like Alatto’s correctly, a significant portion of the population will pay for the service.”
Alatto Technologies are providers of a complete RingBack Tone solution known as vConnect to network operators in Europe. The unique solution from Alatto leverages existing network assets to generate a rapid ROI of typically less
than six months. vConnect includes content management, multiple subscribers, and self-service channels together with innovative service configuration options.
‘If you do the numbers this is set to become a billion euro industry in Europe,’ Alatto’s John Whelan continued. ‘In the same way we were all taken by surprise by the rapid adoption and commercial success of SMS, the network operators, music content owners and software vendors have an opportunity to
capitalise on the ring back tone phenomenon within the next six months.”