Speaking as one of those annoying people who uses the default sound on his cellphone, I'm slightly boggled to read that composing ringtones is big business. And now, anyone can do it!
Ring tones are already big business, accounting for $4 billion in revenue worldwide, and jumping from $277 million in 2004 to $600 million in revenues in the United States, according to Jupiter Research. That consumers will spend $2.50 for a song clip to use as their ring tone when a full recording costs less than $1 to download has not been lost on the struggling music industry. Meanwhile, start-up companies have emerged selling software that lets users turn chunks of their favorite CDs into rings.
Harmony Line is different. Founded in 2004 by MIT composer Tod Machover, whose work has been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Pops, the company aims to market its Hyperscore software, a program designed to allow nonschooled musicians to compose fully conceived pieces with relative ease.
Harmony Line decided recently to offer a simplified version of the program for free to entice people to buy the complete software, which retails for $30. With the move, Harmony Line joins a small but growing group of companies that are trying to offer an alternative to the prerecorded samples sold as cell-phone downloads that rule the Billboard ring tone charts.
Anyway, I blogged this because one piece of family gossip I picked up when everyone was in town for Uncle Ken's funeral was that my cousin Aaron is composing ringtones for a company in Asia, where he's now living. I'm just glad to know that you actually can make a living at it.Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 19, 2006 to Music | TrackBack