IDC Predicts Ringback Tones Will Be the Single Largest Source for Mobile Entertainment Revenue by 2010

FRAMINGHAM, MA – March 4, 2008 – IDC forecasts the number of worldwide wireless subscribers and customers to grow by a little more than a billion over the next four years, generating $800 billion in global wireless service revenue by 2011. IDC expects mobile entertainment will account for 5.1% of this total revenue and 23% of all mobile data revenue. The vast majority of this mobile entertainment revenue will be derived from ringtones, ringback tones, and mobile television and video services.

Although there are significant regional differences, worldwide revenue and subscriber and customer totals are poised to increase at least 25% annually between 2006 and 2011. According to IDC, ringback tones will overtake ringtones in 2010 and become the single largest revenue source for mobile entertainment due to a variety of inherent advantages.

“The fact that ringback tones is expected to actually increase its share several percentage points through the forecast period is a testament to the inherent strengths of the service," says Lewis Ward, research manager of IDC’s Wireless Communications Research. “One could argue that because ringback tones is the most closely tied into the network and cannibalization from third parties is virtually impossible, it has some additional advantages over other mobile entertainment services and content types for MNOs.”

The IDC study, Worldwide Mobile Entertainment 2007-20011 Forecast (Doc #210103), analyzes the opportunity for mobile entertainment services, applications, and content types on a global basis. Mobile entertainment in the context of this study is defined as ringtones, games, commercial TV and video services, full-track music downloads, ringback tones, and graphics/themes. This study provides a regional breakdown of associated revenue and average revenue per user (ARPU), customers/subscribers, and, in some cases, volume/units for comparative purposes; describes critical associated trends; and forecasts each of these content/service types through 2011. The four major regions covered are Asia/Pacific, North America, Western Europe, and the rest of the world (ROW).

Meet one-on-one with Lewis Ward and other IDC mobile analysts at IDC at CTIA Wireless 2008: Mobile Convergence, Cooperation, Conflict and Change on April 2nd at Wynn Las Vegas. This event will include presentations by IDC analysts Sean Ryan, Matt Davis, and Shiv K. Bakhshi, Ph.D. Tracy Ford, associate publisher and editor of RCR Wireless News, will moderate the IDC analyst discussion panel. Reserve your seat today at .

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 900 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 90 countries worldwide. For more than 43 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting