Web Culture

Whatever Happened To Ringtones? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 22-02-2012

I never really thought about this much until I saw this infographic today but annoying ringtones do seem to be on the decline. I mean, I can’t remember the last time I heard “I’m Too Sexy” blaring out in a crowded room or Bohemian Rhapsody making everyone in the bus instinctively start twitching their heads back and forth, Wayne’s World style.


But hey, I can’t talk. Up until a few years ago, I had Star Wars (Imperial March) and Star Trek:The Next Generation as my ringtones (yes, I am a sad geek). Whenever I was in the bus or in a crowded cafe, and Star Trek would start up on my phone, everyone would look at me with either amusement or pity (or both). Even last year, I was using the CTU ringtone from “24“.

Our infographic today takes a look at what has happened to ringtones over the past few years and how downloaded paid ringtones are on the decline. However, saying that, it still represents a multi-million dollar industry, making much more money than the top three music streaming services combined. So it is far from dead. But nevertheless, it is projected to be completely gone by 2016.

So come on, it’s confession time down in the comments below. Tell us which ringtones you have (or used to have) on your phone. Anything really embarrassing? We promise not to laugh (too much). Are you in the habit of buying ringtones or do you make your own How To Make MP3 Mobile Ringtones With Audacity Read More ?

Infographic Source: MusicProductionSchools.net
Image Source: kanjiroushi

Related topics: Infographic, Ringtones.

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  1. Richard Kivinen
    March 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    why would pay for ringtones now, when there is so many apps and website that have free ringtones. I have the most uncommon ringtone: it a 56kb modem dial out tone so i know nobody will have the same tone.

  2. thai karl
    March 3, 2012 at 2:07 am

    this is charting the PAID for ringtones.  i have never purchased a ringtone.  not worth it to me.  when the phones got advanced enough, i made my own ringtones from samples or sounds.  since there are so many ways to easily make your own ringtones and install them, of course the paid services are going to wither away.

  3. Leah Colson
    March 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I think less calls are being made out in public thanks to instant messaging and such that we just aren't hearing the ringtones.

  4. d?nzzy
    February 25, 2012 at 12:53 am

    I create my own ringtones using Ringdroid! I can make one for you for free. :)

  5. Nalk
    February 22, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    For SMS I use this homemade highly annoying thing:

    I made it for those times when I accidently find myself on the public bus in the afternoons when college has let a lot of teenagers loose on the innocent bystanders. 35-40 teens each with their own stupid ringtone.... You need a defense. For incoming calls I use a free ringtone I found a few years ago on the net:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3307922/infobandit.mp3

  6. vs8
    February 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I hate annoying ringtones (musical ringtones to be specific). I set one and it will remain my ringtone for the life of the phone.

    My current ringtone is Metal Gear Solid's Codec, which sounds like a high tech phone and fits my Galaxy S2 very well. :)

  7. Bswarm
    February 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

     I snuck this on my wife's cellphone (after first blowing up the volume in Audacity.) From the movie "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation" when Chevy Chase rants about what he wants to say to his boss... "cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, ****less, hopeless, heartless, fat-***, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey ****.

  8. w6dlf
    February 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I use a Morse code ringtone to identify a specific caller.  .-..  ---  .-..

    • Jrobie
      February 23, 2012 at 5:00 am

      That's awesomely geeky. If I knew Morse code, I'd totally steal that.

      • Pat O'Leary
        March 3, 2012 at 9:09 am

        You could dash out and learn it..... (that's dot dot dot....)

    • Mark O'Neill
      March 5, 2012 at 10:29 am

       That is cool!  If only I had the time and patience to learn Morse code!  How do you make the ringtone?

  9. Ed
    February 22, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I'm not into customization.  I just use the default ringtone of my phone.

  10. Michael Smelser
    February 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I have a different ring tone for each of my contacts (Rush, ZZTop, etc) as it lets me know who is calling without looking at the phone.  If it doesn't know the person then it plays "Who are You?" by The Who.

  11. mtribe
    February 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I rely on custom ring tones to know which calls I have to answer and which I can ignore. If I hear "We Are Family," I know one of my five sisters its looking for me. If I hear "She Works Hard For The Money," I know it's just the boss and I can let it go to voice mail. ;) I'm not likely to give up my custom ringtones any time soon! (But I've also never spent money for a ringtone.)

  12. EmmaGeraln
    February 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I've pretty much hated ring tone option on every phone I've had. Add to that I've always had an objection to paying for them. Basicky ive always had a standard telephone sound.

    Until I got an iPhone, now jail broken I can have any part of any tune I want, so do!

  13. Princess
    February 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Dr. Who, Torchwood, star trek hail.
    Some silly ones like:
    - you got mail, motherfucker.
    - that's a huge bitch!
    I pretty much make music ones for my contacts.

  14. Carol Foltz
    February 22, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I've got the Doctor Who theme and a co-worker has the theme to "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."

  15. nano
    February 22, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I use lady gaga's "nothing else I can say"

    Well I wonder what are people using if they won't use ringtone anymore.

    • Miggs
      February 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Why would you use that?