It's a move that makes sense on the surface: Warner Music Group
Then the obvious hits you: Folks are drawn to Skype because they want to skimp on long-distance charges by voice-chatting with fellow users for free. Skype even offers a bargain-priced service to call non-Skype users anywhere from their Web-enabled computers for just pennies a minute. Folks who may be too cheap to pay for conventional phone service are also likely to be too cheap to pay for high-end wireless phones with digital download capability.
You'll also have people who object to paying 50% more for a ringtone than what a download for the entire standalone track would run you at a place like Apple Computer's
I'm not dismissing ringtones as an attractive market in general. During the InfoSpace
Warner's heart is in the right place. It's just beating in the wrong body if it expects to persuade cost-saving Skype users to open up their pocketbooks. I'm sure there are plenty of Madonna and Green Day fans on Skype, but this kind of pitch would be better suited toward a music-driven community like MySpace.com at worst, or a paying music service like Napster
Wake me up when this ringtone ends.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz once had his band signed to Sony's Columbia Records label. It didn't exactly pan out. T he Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.