Why You Should Care About Ringback Tones #unresolved
For many in Indonesia, the ringback tone is somewhat of a controversial issue; drawing the ire of many, and polarizing related industries into an almost “for-and-against” situation. But not too long ago, ringbacktones were the craze of the moment and the darling of the music industry (and remains the darling of the music industry, depending on who you ask). And not only the music industry – the soaring growth of the ringbacktone market was one of the first indications that Indonesia, as a digital content market, is simply different from other countries and plays by different rules.
I have been writing about how music startups have actually been around in Indonesia for the past 6-7 years or so, and I felt if fitting to dedicate the last post in the series to discuss the ringback tone. Popularized in Korea to replace that boring connecting tone when you wait for the person on the other end to pick up your call, ringback tones (also known as ‘color ringback tones’, as they added ‘color’ to your ringback tone), the technology was imported into Indonesia in 2004 where both Indosat and Telkomsel started building their ringback tone services and offered them to the public later that year. The telecommunication companies approached the music labels to obtain attractive content for these services; negotiations took place, and business deals were agreed which were to define the business model for ringback tones across the industry.