BMI: Ringback Tones Called Up $205m in ’08

Performing rights organization BMI has released data on US ringback tone services from 2008 along with projections for ’09.

According to BMI, revenue from ringback tones, the music a caller hears while waiting for the call to be answered, totaled some $205 million last year, up from $140 million in 2007. The organization’s forecast has sales topping $235 million in 2009, up 15% year-over-year.

There’s still a whole lot of room for growth in this nascent market. BMI figures that some 10 million US consumers have signed up for a ringback service, which is only about 4% of mobile subscribers.