Chris Brown's Run It!, the Black Eyed Peas' My Humps and Young Jeezy's Trap Star are alerting cellphone users to incoming calls, but the sound ringing in the ears of the music business is "ka-ching." Candy Shop by 50 Cent was the No. 1 downloaded ringtone last year at 1.9 million sales.
By Danny Moloshok, AP
Ringtone sales are off the hook. And while the revenue stream is only a trickle in the $12 billion industry, it's growing feverishly as CDs slump.
In 2005, tones pulled in $600 million, 20% ahead of estimates and more than double the 2004 take. The year's leader, 50 Cent's Candy Shop, sold 1.9 million downloads, more than the top-selling digital song: Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl, with 1.2 million.