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Ringtones are the recording industry's new marketing tool

By unknown | Jun 19, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Xolile Bhengu

Xolile Bhengu

With the vast number of ringtones available, cellphones are fast becoming a new marketing tool for the recording industry.

But the industry is riddled with controversy over controlled payments of royalties to the composers and artists of songs.

South Africa does not have a system that tracks sales of ringtones such as the Nielsen RingScan system in the US.

Ringtone sales are estimated by the South Africa Recording Rights Association Limited (Sarral) to be worth anything between R5million and R40million a month.

But for more than four years the industry has been run as a free for all with 135 wireless application service providers.

Sarral director Graeme Gilfillin compared the market to the "wild west" as a highly deregulated market.

"What we need is to have is people acquiring rights to use material before and not after their use. We have agreements with some companies. We have agreed on some aspects, but we need more regulation," he said.

Gilfillin said Sarral tried to track down as many users of material as they could, but the legalities of trying to pursue many was too expensive.


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