New Billboard Hot Ringtones Chart Confirms Mobile's Impact on Music Industry; Chart Recognizes $300MM U.S. Mobile Music Market; Endorsed by Industry Leaders CTIA and MEF

Digital Entertainment Awards 2004
SAN FRANCISCO--()--Oct. 26, 2004--Billboard, the world's leading music and digital entertainment print and online publication and Consect, the leading provider of U.S. mobile market analysis, announced today the launch of the new Billboard Hot Ringtones chart. The first of its kind in North America, the aggregated U.S. polyphonic ringtone chart will first publish in the November 6th issue of Billboard in the debut of the magazine's new Digital Entertainment special section.

Similar in fashion to Billboard's legacy of reporting top record and CD sales, and Billboard Radio Monitor's coverage of radio airplay, the new chart will reflect the "Top 20" polyphonic ringtone sales for each week, including song title, artist, previous week's position and number of weeks on the chart.

"Billboard is delighted to introduce the Hot Ringtones chart, which reflects the growth, innovation and success of the rapidly growing mobile music market. Our team has been working closely with major ringtone distributors, wireless carriers and influential industry associations and leaders to debut this chart. The launch coincides perfectly with the expansion of our digital entertainment coverage in the weekly magazine and the inaugural Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference and Awards November 4-5 in Los Angeles. Billboard charts have long held an independent and authoritative role in influencing sales of recorded music, whether it be a physical or digital format. The Billboard Hot Ringtones chart is yet another example of our commitment to extend our leadership position in this area and to help recognize a distribution channel and digital lifestyle that holds huge promise," said John Kilcullen, Billboard Publisher and VNU Music and Literary Group President.

"This chart recognizes the significant impact of the nascent $300 million mobile music market in America and will further its growth as the rest of the industry realizes the relationship between mobile downloads and new music sales," said Consect CEO Mark Frieser. "We're extremely proud to be working in unison with the industry's leading organizations in reporting this dynamic marketplace."

The data is aggregated from each of the major ringtone distributors and wireless carriers, which represents more than 90% market share sampled every week. The Billboard Hot Ringtones chart is a reflection of the most comprehensive market sample of any other ringtone chart worldwide and the single most comprehensive starting sample of any chart produced by Billboard to date.

The data for the Billboard Hot Ringtones chart is compiled from the primary providers of the US market including 9Squared, AG Interactive, Dwango Wireless, Faith West, Infospace Mobile, Kanematsu, Zingy and Ztango, Inc., (a WiderThan company) and is endorsed by both CTIA - The Wireless Association(TM) and the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF).

"CTIA is thrilled to be a sponsor of the new Billboard Ringtones Chart," said Steve Largent, President & CEO of CTIA. "The wireless technology that started as a car phone for business people is now proving to be an incredible outlet for personal entertainment as well. The growing popularity of ringtones reflects the evolving relationship between wireless consumers and their phones, ranging from being a safety device to a portable stereo. The wireless industry will continue working with the music and entertainment industries to meet the ever-increasing demand from consumers for the latest entertainment content and services while they're on-the-go."

"The MEF created and runs the official UK ringtone chart, and we are delighted to work with Billboard and Consect in driving the rapid development of mobile music worldwide. The Billboard Hot Ringtones chart is a fundamental industry need that will accelerate the unstoppable growth of mobile music entertainment and the unquenchable public demand for getting their music on the move," said MEF America Chairman Ralph Simon.

About Billboard:

Now in its 110th year, Billboard is the world's premier music industry publication and a diverse brand-licensing platform. Billboard publishes the most trusted charts and offers unrivaled reporting about the latest music, video and digital entertainment issues and trends. Billboard is the flagship property for the Billboard Information Group, which also consists of Billboard.biz, Billboard.com, Billboard Chart Alert, Billboard Information Network (BIN), Billboard Directories, Billboard Licensing & Events and Billboard Radio Monitor. The Group is a unit of VNU Business Media, a worldwide media company that provides specialized publications, electronically delivered data, expositions and marketing services and is owned by VNU Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Netherlands-based VNU, an international publishing and information company.


Contact:
Mary Ann Kim                        Lila Gerson
Billboard Information Group         Four Corners Communications
(646) 654-4644                      (212) 849-8257
mkim@billboard.com                  lila@four-corners.com

About Consect:

Consect is the leading provider of US market mobile analysis, including ringtone and other mobile entertainment metrics, charts and reports. Consect's Consulting division services a wide variety of carrier, handset, software and application providers, from start-ups in need of venture and partnerships to medium sized companies poised for growth and global alliance, to international Fortune 100 companies looking for access to key US markets. Consect's Summit division hosts events taking place once a month, covering specific targeted markets in wireless content, investing, and development. For more information, please visit http://www.consect.com and http://www.mobilemusicon.com.


Contact:
Hal Bringman                        Phil McGovern
HBPR, LLC                           HBPR, LLC
(310) 659-1060 ext 111#             (310) 659-1060 ext 222#
hal@hbpr.com                        phil@hbpr.com

About CTIA:

CTIA is the international association for the wireless telecommunications industry, representing carriers, manufacturers and wireless Internet providers. www.ctia.org. For more information, pelase contact:

Contact:
Erin McGee
Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association
1400 16th Street, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 785-0081
emcgee@ctia.org

About the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF):

The MEF is a global trade association representing all participants in the mobile entertainment value chain interested in driving the industry's evolution and commercial potential through collaboration, consultation and promotional activities. The MEF is committed to reducing the barriers to entry into the innovative mobile entertainment market, thereby encouraging entry by new businesses and increasing competition and growth to the benefit of all industry players and consumers. The MEF's main goals are to promote the development of the mobile entertainment industry, build awareness for the industry and facilitate the development of commercial standards and best practices for mobile entertainment. For more information, please visit: www.m-e-f.org.


Contact:
Sarah Miller
Axis Marketing & PR, LLC
(415) 764 1980 ext 104
Fax: (415) 651-8668

Contacts

CTIA
Erin McGee, 202-785-0081

Contacts

CTIA
Erin McGee, 202-785-0081