Pay for Skype ringtones? Nah, not me.

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Pay for Skype ringtones? Nah, not me.

In case you missed it, Skype and Warner Music Group partnered yesterday to offer ringtones for the Skype client. Now I get the fact that ringtones on cellphones are a multi-billion dollar business, but ringtones on Skype? Actually, come to think of it, I don't get how ringtones on cellphones are a multi-billion dollar business. Multi-million maybe, but multi-billion? Teenagers have way too much disposable income to be blowing on rintones in my opinion, but I digree here. As I was saying, Warner Music Group announced it will make available master recordings from WMG’s roster of recording artists as ringtones to the more than 74 million registered users of Skype. Their roster includes Madonna, Green Day, and more.

There is a major difference between purchasing and downloading ringtones to cellphones and downloading ringtones to a PC application (Skype). That difference is a the user's mindset - a Skype user that is already using a PC that is already preloaded with gigabytes of his/her favorite MP3 tunes isn't necessarily going to want to pay for a short little ringtone snippet that they already have on their PC's hard drive somewhere. You can simply open Audacity, an open-source MP3/WAV editor or any other editor and "cut" your own ringtone for free and then import into Skype. Not only is it free to use your own MP3 collection, but you can choose the exact section of the song that is your favorite part. Sure, it's a little work, but teenagers, the vast purchasers of ringtones are pretty tech-savvy and not beyond penny-pinching. The mindset of a cellphone user on the other hand is that it's probably easier to pay for & download ringtones directly to the cellphone without the hassle of hooking up a data cable between the PC and the cellphone to upload ringtones. (Most cellphone users probably never even hooked up their data cables and they're still in the original box.)

I should mention that before this deal Skype had been selling their own set of ringtones for $1.20 each. I'll be interested to learn out of the 74 million Skype users how many actually pay for Skype ringtones - I just know I won't be one of them. Well, gotta run, I think I'll go make myself a "Don't Stop Believin'" ringtone ;) .

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