Freaking Ringtones

Without a doubt, the majority of new affiliates want their first niche to be ringtones. Why? Because everyone and their mom talks about them. We all know there’s a ton of money in ringtones, so most affiliates think it’s an easy piece of pie. I wanted to blog about ringtones some day and just never got to it, but after reading Shoemoney today, I figured it was time. I have quite a few thoughts about ringtones and where they’re going, so to organize it and make my points clear, I’ll do it in bullet-fashion.

Everything You Need to Know About Ringtones as of December 12, 2008

  • Ringtones are great because they target younger kids, they’re in demand, and the price tag is in size 2px font in the upper right hand corner.
  • Ringtones are not dying, like everybody has been saying they are for the past 50 years. They’re slowing down I think, but there’s still enough money in them to buy a small country.
  • There’s been a lot of talk about ringtone policy’s changing on January 1st of this coming year. Subscription notifications with pricing and whatnot will be changing, although nothing is crystal clear. Ringtone providers are still going to do their best job to “hide” the pricetag I think. So there’s still going to be money in them, it just may be harder.
  • I don’t advise ringtones for beginners. It’s easy money but it’s not as simple as making a few long-tail campaigns. I’ve had so many questions regarding ringtone campaigns and it’s NOT as simple as bidding 10 cents in Yahoo for “motorola xd8237x ringtone”.
  • The only good money I’ve made in ringtones was by getting lucky. I’ve bid for the #1-2 spot in Google for “ringtone”, “free ringtone”, “verizon ringtone”, “cingular ringtone”, and more. I paid around $1/click after letting history/CTR build. After some work, I just found for me that it wasn’t worth the effort to scale it. I’d have some days where I’d make a couple hundred, and others where I’d lose the same amount. I’m pretty much positive that everyone in those top spots now is profiting, but there’s other things out there.
  • Word to the wise, “free ringtones” and “ringtones” convert at around 3-4% in the #1 spot in Google. So for that position and the price you’ll be paying, you can lose a couple grand in a day.
  • Networks are getting in trouble for ringtones, and forking over some nice money with the feds. See that Shoemoney post above for a couple links. It just makes you feel like maybe ringtones aren’t the most long-term and healthy niche out there.
  • THERE IS STILL MONEY IN RINGTONES. I don’t want you to think because of the way I’m wording this post that I’m saying ringtones suck. There’s many ways to make money with ringtones, and you could find the next way. I just advise starting in a different direction if you’re first starting out. There’s just as much money in other offers and they won’t be as tricky as ringtones. Ringtones are simple and tricky at the same time. I’m sure plenty of you are making money with ringtones, and it was the first niche I got in to. But most people go into it thinking it’s the best thing out there, and then after working on a campaign they have 100 problems after the first day it’s launched.
  • If you’re still going to try ringtones, carrier pages work best. Don’t direct link or just iframe the landing page. Make a carrier page, and then link those to and iframe the offer on that page.
  • The more simple the page, the better. Don’t have 100 pictures of Fergie looking sexy all over and preview clips of all the wallpapers. Just have the person select their carrier and move on with life. Animated arrows = good.
  • These are all personal experiences, so don’t email me saying “Dude you’re a dumbass there’s like 50 other ways to promote ringtones and make sick profit, you’re such a noob.” Ringtones isn’t my biggest offer and I’ve never spent close to enough time to scale it out. There are millions of dollars in ringtones, and I’m sure the top guys in the field are doing 100k/day in them. I’m just not one of those guys. These are my thoughts and experiences with them.
  • Alright so there’s most of what you should know about ringtones. Where they are, where they’re going, and how I’ve done with them. My opinion is that there’s money in them for beginners, but there are other offers out there.


  1. December 11, 2007

    I have the image that most kids don’t know how much these ringtones are costing their parents. THat’s why I don’t promote ringtones

  2. December 11, 2007

    Ringtones. Hmmm. Yeah ringtones are very tricky if you don’t know what your doing. My friend used to make a killing off of it, now there are many restrictions and stuff. I wouldn’t recommend it either.

  3. December 12, 2007

    thanks for the article – just to want to say keep it up – I think you’re the best blogger out there at the moment, and always look forward to you words or wisdom. Keep it honest.

  4. December 12, 2007

    Even before I read this post I never thought about doing ringtones.Now I’m DEF not going to… blargh! I just found a great one that I truly want to promote. we’ll see how it goes….

  5. December 12, 2007

    I never tried promoting ringtones because I personally would never buy a ringtone offer, which makes me think I have the wrong mindset for it…but lots of stupid kids eat those things up. My sis has a new ringtone like 7 times per day.

    But if people are doing 100k/day, more power to ’em.

  6. December 12, 2007

    I’ll probably still be living off Ringtone earnings from myspace about this time next year :)…As for Search or anything else, I never really got into it. But, with about 5,500 profiles and a ringtone banner on it adding 400 a friends a day and then turning around and spamming……..I mean commenting your whole count a month later can bring you some good cheese. Man, I miss the good ole days.

  7. December 12, 2007

    “Dude you’re a dumbass there’s like 50 other ways to promote ringtones and make sick profit, you’re such a noob.”

  8. December 12, 2007

    Sounds like if you really want to make money with ringtones, you have to “think outside the box”. Or, in uber affiliate terms “So far away from the box that you cant see it”.

  9. December 12, 2007

    Thing about offers like Ringtones and Mortgage is you know they convert. People talk about them because they actually convert as opposed to 90% of the other offers out there. I’ve tried running about 10 new offers in the last month and not made a single sale/lead. Now that’s what I call a crappy offer. And I was brand bidding and redirecting to the offer. Amazing that people are even allowed to put offers up without testing that they convert themselves. Just my 2 cents on why people keep beating the same drum.

  10. December 12, 2007

    I have actually had better conversion rates not running the standard carrier select page. Took me about 3 months of testing to come up with it though.

  11. December 12, 2007

    I could have sworn when I saw your earnings in one of your posts, that you were banking on ringtones offers from Azoogle. Guess I was wrong.

  12. December 12, 2007

    It costs the parents how much the parents are allowing their kids to spend. If they don’t care about how their kids spend money, why should me or you care on how will THEIR kids spend money.

    Anyway, some great points over there, thank you for the read.

  13. December 13, 2007

    Ringtones? they are cool but you aint seeing my ass there. I better stick to adult affs, get my weekly pay.

  14. December 13, 2007

    the shady tactics of these companies mean that often, kids don’t know they are actually signing up to something that costs a lot of money. kids rack up $100 – $200 phone bills and the parents have no choice but to pay it.

  15. December 13, 2007

    great stuff. do what you enjoy right?

  16. December 14, 2007


    a great post about the current condition of the ringtone affiliate market place. I would love to do an interview with Jamster or Dada, or even top execs at Azoogle. It is a huge marketplace. Would you consider linking to my blog on your blogroll? I just wrote some interesting pieces of MLB steroid marketing.

  17. December 14, 2007

    haha.. and get a discount off your own affiliate commission on the subscriptions

  18. February 5, 2008

    This is actually my first time to read all about this stuff. . Im like “so this is how they get really big money”. From these posts, im looking to dump smorty and sponsored reviews.

    Cant wait. .

  19. fhrh
    May 17, 2008


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