End of an Era: Reflections on Ringtones
It seems like only yesterday that polyphonic ringtones were all the rage in Japan, with mobile content companies frantically hustling to create MIDI-like files for all the popular songs in first 4-voice polyphony in 2000, followed by 16-poly in 2001 and 40-poly in 2002. Although many in the mobile industry thought the ringtone market here had peaked by that time, it somehow managed to keep growing for another three years. In fact, it has really only been in the past seven months or so that we’re finally seeing the major shakeout here that was expected several years ago.
This time, though, it’s for real. All the restructurings, reorganizations and layoffs happening this year among mobile content providers have driven home the point that the party is now officially over. Having spent the past seven years working in the middle of this ringtone phenomenon, it almost feels like we’re coming out of a prolonged period of suspended reality and back into the actual rough-and-tumble world of business. Still, it’s been a great ride, and I’m glad to have been on it, even if the landing was a bit rough. Looking back now in retrospect on this seven-year cycle for ringtones in Japan, there are a few interesting points that stand out… Full article via Music Media Watch >>