Ringtone Downloads - what's all the fuss about?
Ringtones. Seems like everybody's searching for them and downloading them. Ringtone download sites are all over the 'net, and ringtone download advertising is pretty big business, if the number of ringtone download site ads visible on the average web site is any indication.
Ringtones For You, Ringtones For Me, Ringtones As Far As The Eye Can See...
I've never spent much time paying attention to ringtone download sites. I always figured that they were aimed at a younger audience, and, I have always been satisfied with the ringtones that were built in to my cell phones. Who's visiting the ringtone sites?
Young, Hip, and Addicted to Technology Toys
If I observe the people I know, I see that my children and their young friends will spend significant sums of money downloading music and ringtones to their latest mobile devices. My older friends may, on occasion, download a ringtone or two, but they are far more likely to find a way to install the ringtone or music on the device using direct transfer from their computer to the device than to download a paid ringtone or song.
And, as people age, many tend to move from a 'consumer' mode into a 'leisure' or 'quality of life' mode, where one is more interested in savoring experiences and relationships than acquiring and showing off the latest gadget or trinket.
Personalized Mobile Devices
One aspect of the ringtones phenomenon is important: the desire to 'customize' one's mass-produced consumer device in order to make it one's own, to make it less of a commodity, less like everyone else's. This might also explain the demand for mobile device wallpaper downloads.
Pogs, Beanie Babies, and World Wrestling Federation
Are mobile device ringtones the 'Pogs' of our time? Are those who are buying and downloading ringtones engaging in this generations large-scale fad or mania? Will the current obsession with ringtones fade into obscurity as the demographic trend shifts and the next obsession takes its place?