Hallelujah! Classical Ring Tones!

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Ralph
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Hallelujah! Classical Ring Tones!

Post by Ralph » Fri May 05, 2006 7:39 pm

Ring Tones Acquire Some Classical Tastes The New York Times May 3, 2006 Wednesday

The New York Times

May 3, 2006 Wednesday
Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section G; Column 1; Circuits; SERVICES; Pg. 7

LENGTH: 794 words

HEADLINE: Ring Tones Acquire Some Classical Tastes

BYLINE: By LAURIE J. FLYNN

BODY:


CHUCK WORKMAN used to cringe whenever the cellphone of someone nearby played a few bars of a popular song instead of simply ringing.

''I would think, 'It's a phone, let it ring,' '' he said.

But Mr. Workman, an Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker in his 60's, is now among a number of older consumers who are personalizing their cellphones by replacing the standard straight-out-of-the-box ring with a snippet of music.

One recent week, his cellphone, a BlackBerry, played ''Short Ride in a Fast Machine'' by John Adams. Before that, it was Mozart's ''Magic Flute.''

Today, consumers in Mr. Workman's age group represent a tiny fraction of the market for ring tones. Almost one in four cellphone users 18 to 24 years old have bought a ring tone in the last six months, and the percentage is even higher for younger teenagers, says Jupiter Research, a technology market research company in New York. But only 9 percent of cellphone users 35 to 44 have done so, and only 2 percent of those over 55 have bought a ring tone.

Part of the reason for older people's slowness toward personalizing ring tones is that the selection for this group has been limited. But that is changing.

Boosey & Hawkes, a British classical music publisher, for example, recently decided to capture some of the market by making 300 of the most popular classical music recordings in its catalog available as ring tones. These include familiar pieces like Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 and Copland's ''Appalachian Spring.''

Mr. Workman became familiar with the Boosey & Hawkes collection (booseytones.com) through his movie-making, and now likes to use music he has used in his films. ''I'm really not much of a downloader,'' he said. ''Until now, whatever's on my phone I'd use.''

In the nine months since Boosey & Hawkes began selling ring tones, the company has experienced a surge in interest, according to Steven Swartz, a spokesman for the company who is based in its New York office. Mr. Swartz said that cellphone users liked classical music as ring tones not just because they liked a certain recording, but because the classical ring tones are rarer and seem less intrusive than ones based on popular music.

But Boosey & Hawkes's classical tones cost much more than most popular ring tones, $5.56 apiece, compared with $2 to $3 for more popular genres.

Julie Ask, a senior analyst at Jupiter, said the number of new ring-tone customers was increasing more slowly since the days of early adopters. But current customers are buying more than ever, she said.

In 2005 the ring-tone market had revenues of $603 million, and that number is expected to reach $931 million this year, Jupiter says. By 2010 ring-tone revenues are forecast to grow to $1.3 billion.

''It's not about having a fancy ring tone, but it's really about personalizing your cellphone,'' said Bruce Gibson, an analyst with Juniper Research, a market research company and consultancy in London. ''It becomes a statement of who you are.'' The increase in selection is clearly attracting new customers. ''The ring-tone market is getting more sophisticated,'' he added.

As a category, classical ring tones have not made it to the Top 10 yet. From the start, the focus of the industry has been on popular music, since teenagers have shown the most interest in modifying their phones.

Hip-hop and rap are the most popular music for ring tones, together accounting for about a quarter of sales, followed by pop rock and soul and R&B, according to Telephia, a market research company tracking the mobile phone industry. Among the most popular are ''Hollaback Girl,'' by Gwen Stefani and ''Just a Lil Bit'' by 50 Cent.

To help increase sales, some music labels are using ring tones to market new albums. Madonna, for example, released her single ''Hung Up'' as a ring tone last fall before she released it as an official full-length download.

More and more, consumers are buying so-called real tones, those derived from the master recording of the music, over traditional, computer-generated ring tones.

With the rate of growth in ring-tone sales slowing, entertainment companies have been branching into related products, most notably personalized ring backs -- that is, the tone or music that is played for callers as they wait for the person they are calling to pick up. Unlike ring tones, which are priced individually, ring backs are usually sold as a monthly service. Cellular carriers offer various pricing plans for ring backs, starting at about a dollar a month.

For now, the ring-back industry is aimed at younger customers, starting off the way the ring-tone industry did. But demand for downloadable ring backs is expected to grow quickly in the next few years. Even Mr. Workman may get one.

URL: http://www.nytimes.com

LOAD-DATE: May 3, 2006
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri May 05, 2006 8:15 pm

I've had "The Trout Quintet" on my phone since I got it last year.
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Fri May 05, 2006 9:18 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:I've had "The Trout Quintet" on my phone since I got it last year.
*****

All the movements?
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Post by RebLem » Fri May 05, 2006 10:21 pm

I think it s waste of time and money, though I wouldn't mind having my cell phone announce calls by playing the trumpet fanfare that begins the last movement of the Dvorak 8th Symphony.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat May 06, 2006 2:55 am

Ralph wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:I've had "The Trout Quintet" on my phone since I got it last year.
*****

All the movements?
:lol: :lol: :lol: No. Some concessions must be made to the shortness of human life. Just the famous tune from the last movement.
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Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Sat May 06, 2006 5:25 am

I can't wait to have Dittersdorf as a ring tone!
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat May 06, 2006 8:21 am

I always wanted the horn theme from the closing movement of Brahms' first as my ring tone (admittedly it would lose something in the translation), but when I got my cell phone everything I could find about how to program your own ring tones was so complicated I gave up and settled for the only classical one which came with the phone. This happens to be the finale from Carnival of the Animals, which inspires great hilarity on the rare occasion I am allowed to have the thing on in public in the first place.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by Ken » Sun May 07, 2006 6:23 am

Yes! He has two versions of the 'Troika' from Prokofiev's Lieutenant Kijé suite!

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Post by Mark Antony Owen » Sun May 07, 2006 2:33 pm

I picked up the first subject of the first movement of Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto for my mobile phone. Trouble is, even with the incoming call volume right up, the damned thing is still too quiet! :evil:
Last edited by Mark Antony Owen on Tue May 09, 2006 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hallelujah! Classical Ring Tones!

Post by IcedNote » Mon May 08, 2006 9:09 pm

Ralph wrote:In 2005 the ring-tone market had revenues of $603 million, and that number is expected to reach $931 million this year, Jupiter says. By 2010 ring-tone revenues are forecast to grow to $1.3 billion.
Am I the only one bothered by those statistics!? O_o :shock:

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Re: Hallelujah! Classical Ring Tones!

Post by Ralph » Mon May 08, 2006 9:37 pm

IcedNote wrote:
Ralph wrote:In 2005 the ring-tone market had revenues of $603 million, and that number is expected to reach $931 million this year, Jupiter says. By 2010 ring-tone revenues are forecast to grow to $1.3 billion.
Am I the only one bothered by those statistics!? O_o :shock:

-G
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Post by SamLowry » Wed May 10, 2006 9:20 am

I've never owned a cell phone. I assume that ring tones are never more than a few seconds long? I was wondering about (considering the "heavenly length"* of much classical music especially) a phone that would just continue the same "excerpt" (okay, All Movements With Repeats will be an option :) ) instead of hearing a few seconds over and over? Though the person receiving the call might be overly tempted -- depending on who is calling perhaps -- to just let the music play.

"Hey, thanks for calling me this afternoon, I enjoyed the Allegretto! Did you have anything important to say?"

I know my MP3 player will just start up at the precise spot in a piece where I last stopped it. Admittedly this idea is getting away from the decades-old human instinct: "this is the 4th ring, I've got to pick up." To be replaced by "my gosh, the 1st subject is half over, are they never going to answer?"

*Or is that only Schubert?

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Post by Mark Antony Owen » Wed May 10, 2006 2:09 pm

SamLowry wrote:I've never owned a cell phone. I assume that ring tones are never more than a few seconds long? I was wondering about (considering the "heavenly length"* of much classical music especially) a phone that would just continue the same "excerpt" (okay, All Movements With Repeats will be an option :) ) instead of hearing a few seconds over and over? Though the person receiving the call might be overly tempted -- depending on who is calling perhaps -- to just let the music play.

"Hey, thanks for calling me this afternoon, I enjoyed the Allegretto! Did you have anything important to say?"

I know my MP3 player will just start up at the precise spot in a piece where I last stopped it. Admittedly this idea is getting away from the decades-old human instinct: "this is the 4th ring, I've got to pick up." To be replaced by "my gosh, the 1st subject is half over, are they never going to answer?"

*Or is that only Schubert?
Can we please make this the 'Post of the Week'? Very witty, amusing and a joy to read! :lol:
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Post by Lance » Wed May 10, 2006 2:12 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Ralph wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:I've had "The Trout Quintet" on my phone since I got it last year.
*****

All the movements?
:lol: :lol: :lol: No. Some concessions must be made to the shortness of human life. Just the famous tune from the last movement.
You must mean the famous fourth movement of the five, the one with the fish actually swimming in the water, yes?
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Post by Lance » Wed May 10, 2006 2:34 pm

Ralph wrote:I can't wait to have Dittersdorf as a ring tone!
I'm actually working out a contract with Bell-Northeast/NYS and we're preparing a number of Dittersdorf ring tones. You have greatly inspired me. Is there anything in particular you would like to have from Dittersdorf? :wink:
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