It’s the same reason why CDs are still selling billions, years after their prime. Technology simply moves faster than consumers, and older formats die hard. Which is why ringtones still accounted for $277.4 million in revenues last year – in the US alone – according to stats just released by the RIAA. That compares to $241.0 million in revenues from the likes of Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, MOG, and ilk, combined.
Of course, the air is leaking fast on ringtones, and experimental mobile formats like ‘OTA’ full-track downloads, ‘vringtones,’ and mobile videos never really got off the ground – at least in the US (the dataset also includes those marginal contributors). Subscriptions, on the other hand, are surging, thanks largely to a bull-charging Spotify. Which means this will probably be a much different story next year.