Report: iTunes Set To Sell Ringtones
August 31, 2007 at 5:46 AM (PT)
STEVE JOBS is getting into the ringtones business, reports THE NY POST. APPLE is in the midst of developing an offering with the major music labels to sell ringers to iPHONE users via ITUNES, multiple sources familiar with the situation said.
The service -- expected to be unveiled when APPLE announces its new lineup of iPODS -- would allow users to turn almost any song sold through iTUNES into a ringtone for an additional fee. The exact price was unclear.
One source suggested they will be marketed as enhanced downloads in much the same way APPLE offers high-quality, unprotected music files from EMI. In that model, ITUNES charges $1.29 for premium EMI tracks vs. 99 cents for standard song downloads.
The ringtones business represents an important new source of revenue for the music industry. U.S. ringtones revenues topped $600 million in 2006, up from $68 million in 2003, according to BMI, a collection society for songwriters and publishers.
While most of the major labels are expected to participate in the offering, UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP, the world's largest music company, will not. UNIVERSAL declined to comment.
No More NBC TV Shows On iTunes
In other ITUNES news, NBC UNIVERSAL, unable to come to an agreement with APPLE on pricing, has decided not to renew its contract to sell digital downloads of television shows on ITUNES.
The media conglomerate, which is the No. 1 supplier of digital video to APPLE’s online store, accounting for about 40% of downloads, notified APPLE of its decision late yesterday, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked for anonymity because negotiations between the companies are confidential.