Dance to the Ring Tone: Madonna Summons You
Madonna fans who simply cannot live without her music now have another way to listen. Late last month, Madonna’s Web site began offering ring tones and images of the star that can be downloaded to compatible cellphones.
Working with m-Qube, a Boston company that provides software for the wireless industry, the singer is using technology that allows a customer to visit a Web site, select and download a song and have the fee ($2) automatically charged to a cellphone bill.
Purchasing the ring tones from Madonna’s Web site rather than from the cellular carrier’s allows the singer “to maintain a direct relationship with her fan base and promote her brand,” said Jeffrey Glass, m-Qube’s chief executive.
The first tones available are polyphonic versions of Madonna songs by m-Qube’s in-house musicians. The company will eventually offer tracks with Madonna‘s own voice. Later this year, m-Qube expects that 15 other artists will offer similar products at their Web sites.
To buy a ring tone or picture, customers enter their cellphone carrier, model and phone number at the site. Deals have been struck with every major wireless carrier in North America, Mr. Glass said. As for those who worry that they will start receiving text messages imploring them to buy more Madonna ring tones, Mr. Glass said that the company’s marketing would be sent only with the user’s permission.
Article by Eric A. Taub, New York Times