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Study: Ring tones, mobile games to skyrocket

In 2009, revenue from ring tones will total $724 million--more than triple last year's figure, according to Jupiter Media.

Revenue from ring tones more than doubled in 2004 and will grow substantially during the next four years, market researcher Jupiter Media said on Tuesday.

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Last year, ring tone revenue in the U.S. market was $217 million, up from $91 million in the previous year, the company said.

And in 2009, revenue from ring tones will reach $724 million, the company projected.

The mobile-game market also experienced growth and is expected to stay healthy, according to the market researcher. Revenue for 2004 grew to $72 million, up 300 percent compared with the previous year. The research company expects game revenue to reach $430 million in 2009.

The numbers echo the positive outlook of an earlier study. Strategy Analytics said in August that it expected worldwide mobile-data service revenue to triple by 2009.

Despite their increasing popularity, though, ring tones and games constitute just a fraction of carriers' revenue, partly because of the relatively poor market penetration of handsets that can handle those applications. Data services overall--including ring tones, games and messaging services--represent only single-digit percentages of cellular carriers' consumer revenue, Jupiter Media said.