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Ringtones Ring Up Profits

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ringtones ring up profits. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Ringtones have become a multi-billion dollar business. Billboard magazine has a Hot Ringtone chart….wireless carriers, the music industry and content gatherers such as ThumbPlay are all cashing in. ThumbPlay president Are Traasdahl says the big trend now…is for companies like his to sell directly to consumers instead of through carriers like Cingular and Verizon. The focus, he says, has been on making it more simple…

"So they go to ThumbPlay.com and it's two clicks from the first page until you have the content delivered to your phone. We have spent a lot of time on simplifying everything for the end user so we can take this out to a mass market. Wireless entertainment in the U.S. up till now has been for special interests or someone who can really understand how to get the content on the phone because the mechanism in order to get it has been complicated."

Instead of trying to navigate menus through a cell phone….Traasdahl says it is easier to browse through a Web site…

"So people can select among much more content and content that they really like and it's easier for us to explain to them how to get the content to the phone."

Whether it's ringtones, wallpaper or games. Traasdahl says his goal is for ThumbPlay to become the Expedia of mobile entertainment.