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Oh man, could it be that artists now will have to actually start making hotter music? That could be the time that has come as it has been reported that ringtone sales have declined according to a recent analysis from SNL Kagan.

SNL Kagan is a division of SNL Financial LC that is a resource for financial intelligence in the media and communications sector. It integrates breaking news, comprehensive data and expert analysis into an electronic database which is available online.

According to the analysis, ringtone sales have seen a decline as they have shrank 24% in 2008 as opposed to the previous year. Sales have gone from $714 million in 2007 to $541 million. The share for ringtones has also seen a decline as it was projected at 80% in 2005 and now stands at 63% as of 2008.

This news, however, doesn’t mean that ringtones are becoming obsolete as people continue to use them. Just like leaked albums, however, people have been able to find a way to bypass purchases by accessing sites that allow them to create their own ringtones free of charge. To cushion that blow, SNL Kagan has stated that labels will begin to cut down the prices of ringtones as a momentary solution for the lost in demand to pay for something that people can get for free.

“When we ask mobile music insiders what will replace ringtone revenues, RBTs (ringback tones) are most often mentioned,” said SNL Kagan wireless analyst John Fletcher. “We estimate this category grew at a 37% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) from 2005 to 2008, from $77 million to $199 million.”

Many of the contributions from the flood of artists as of late have come behind the idea that they will be able to acquire that smash hit and as overall record sales continue to dwindle, ringtone sales were continuing to rise. Some artists even took it as far to note that their actual album may not have projected great numbers but hey they went platinum in ringtone sales. Word?

Rappers such as Nas complained of the fact that Hip-Hop has turned itself into the ringtone era where artists and record executives alike aren’t necessarily looking for longevity and artist development, but are instead just trying to get in and score with that single then count their earnings and move out. This has accounted for the over-saturated market.

As Kanye West said in his debut album, College Dropout, “That’s why we’re here, your music is in fast for/cause we don’t wanna here that weak Shyte no more.”

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