Ringtones

Because She Got High: M.I.A.’s “Plane” Takes The “Express” Route To The Hot 100

Chris Molanphy | July 25, 2008 4:00 am
Chris Molanphy | July 25, 2008 4:00 am

andtakeyourmoney.jpgFor more than three years now, Interscope has tried a range of well-worn tactics to make singer/rapper/agitprop icon M.I.A. a best-seller in America: single releases with high-profile remixes; ads proclaiming her across-the-board rock-critic and blogger love; mixtape tracks; eye-catching and at times controversial music videos; and teaming her up with Timbaland for what turned out to be the weakest track on her latest album, Kala.

This week, seemingly out of nowhere and thanks to none of the above efforts, M.I.A. has her first hit on Billboard‘s Hot 100, “Paper Planes,” which makes its debut all the way up at No. 55.

M.I.A. can credit the House Of Apatow for her sudden chart fortunes, as trailers and ads for the forthcoming Seth Rogen/James Franco stoner comedy Pineapple Express prominently feature the track.

I think M.I.A. fans knew last summer that this song was destined to become her crossover hit, and if it goes no further than this, it will have already fulfilled its destiny. Except it’s going to do better because, somewhat improbably, M.I.A. is apparently connecting with one of the most loyal music-buying audiences in history: stoners.

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¿Qué Tal Tu Móvil?: The 10-Second Songs That Are Ringing Spain’s Mobile Phones

Kate Richardson | April 22, 2008 2:15 am
Kate Richardson | April 22, 2008 2:15 am

chikichiki2.jpgSpanish mobile carrier Yoigo has posted a list of its most popular ringtone downloads in the Sala de Música section of its Web site, and not surprisingly, Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” is No. 1. Rihanna must have a killer European publicity team, because she has an almost God-like omnipresence on this continent. But the rest of the list is highlighted by Spanish and Latin American pop, including a Sevillan boy band and Spain’s particularly pathetic Eurovision entry.

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Hang Up The Phone: A Brief List Of Ill-Advised Ringtones

noah | January 31, 2008 4:00 am
noah | January 31, 2008 4:00 am


I haven’t yet had the pleasure of hearing Hinder’s “Lips Of An Angel” ringing out of a cell phone in my immediate vicinity, but I’m on alert for that possibility now thanks to the song being “the RIAA’s first and only triple platinum Mastertone in rock music history,” according to a press release. Perhaps there are a lot of people out there for whom the song’s lyrics–“Well, my girl’s in the next room / Sometimes I wish she was you / I guess we never really moved on”–match perfectly to their sentiments about their mothers and various bill collectors. Or maybe they just aren’t worried about their significant others being around when their phone rings? Anyway, after the jump, a few other lyrics from popular songs of now that should probably not be considered for mastertone consideration, but probably will anyway because who really pays attention to the words in music unless they’ve got a Don’t Forget The Lyrics! contestant slot in their sights?

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Verizon’s Top Music: What Yooooouuuu Enjoyed Hearing Out Of Tiny Speakers In 2007

dangibs | January 10, 2008 12:00 pm
dangibs | January 10, 2008 12:00 pm

cellphone.jpgSure, we’re ten days into the new year, and the music year just passed has been covered in every imaginable manner, but have we heard the contributions of the true driving force in the music industry? The consumers who are keeping the leaky ship afloat? The voice of those people has been heard… through the announcement of Verizon’s top ten ringtones for 2007. The list (which is, curiously, arranged in alphabetical order) after the jump, but for now a few thoughts.

THE GOOD: I suppose the good news depends on your opinion of one-hit-wonder rap hits of the past year (Hurricane Chris, Sean Kingston, Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em). Maybe the good news is that there’s only one Fergie song on there, and it isn’t “Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal).”
THE BAD: “The Way I Live” by Baby Boy Da Prince, and of course, Fergie.
THE WHAAAA? With Interscope announcing that Soulja Boy hit the three-million mark in ringtones, yet had only just reached gold status as far as actual album sales, it nearly makes my head hurt to think of where the music business is going from here, or if anyone will actually be releasing songs that last more than 30 seconds by this time next year.

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noah | December 31, 2007 11:45 am
noah | December 31, 2007 11:45 am

As predicted by pretty much everyone, the ringtone business is starting to experience what the suits like to call “negative growth,” and companies that once specialized in ringtones are now looking at business models that involve other ways to personalize cell phones. More »


Ringtone Business Experiencing “Negative Growth”

noah | December 31, 2007 11:45 am
noah | December 31, 2007 11:45 am

As predicted by pretty much everyone, the ringtone business is starting to experience what the suits like to call “negative growth,” and companies that once specialized in ringtones are now looking at business models that involve other ways to personalize cell phones. More »



Zingy Gets Zinged As Ringtone Sales Decline

jharv | October 10, 2007 11:15 am
jharv | October 10, 2007 11:15 am

RotaryCell.jpgFor years, the ringtone was assumed to be the growth sector in the music biz, especially once CD sales started tanking and before digital downloads started pulling their own weight. But recently the rumors of the format’s demise, rumors which began a few years ago, have started to get louder. And there might be another death knell sounded in this article on the closure of ringtone distributor Zingy, as it “chang[es] its name to a brand it bought and killed two years ago,” Vindigo:

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Is The Traditional Ringtone Ready To Be Retired?

jharv | October 5, 2007 9:13 am
jharv | October 5, 2007 9:13 am

RotaryCell.jpgProbably not for a while, but though it’s a little light on numbers to back up the claims of the ringtone’s demise, this Digital Music News story quotes several phone/music industry types still wary, several years after the technology was introduced, about getting users to shift from buying your average blip-of-Linkin Park tone to buying a download of the whole damn song over their phones. DMN muses on the format’s eventual burnout, which brings a tear to the eye of this ringtone addict. Then again, with Nickelback’s “Rockstar” the currently the No. 1 ringtone on iTunes, perhaps the format needs to be put down:

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Modern-Rock Radio Continues Its Slide Into Irrelevance, Three Days Grace Advocacy

noah | September 28, 2007 4:04 am
noah | September 28, 2007 4:04 am

A post on Kings Of A & R bemoaning the state of modern-rock radio (and calling out Kid Rock’s lyric-writing “abilities,” specifically when it comes to couplets like “So hot I wanna get you alone / So hot I wanna get you stoned” ) caused me to take a glance at this week’s Billboard Modern Rock charts, and while somehow Linkin Park wasn’t at the top, the rest of the top 10 wasn’t pretty:

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noah | July 24, 2007 3:48 am
noah | July 24, 2007 3:48 am

No. 3 on Billboard’s Hip-Hop Ringtones list for July 17: Afroman’s “Because I Got High.” So if your workplace requires a drug test, and you pass it, and then your phone rings with that song, do you have to go through the pee-test process all over again? More »


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