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Sprint: Forget audio ring tones, try video ringers

Among the artists whose music video clips are available for ringer duty: Crime Mob, Big & Rich and T.I.

Sprint is offering music video ring tones to customers who use some multimedia phones, the company said this week.

The service is available now on Sanyo's MM-5600 multimedia phone and will be released for other multimedia handsets later, Sprint said.

Customers will be able to download music videos and store them on their phones. The videos then play when subscribers get calls, Sprint said.

Related story

Handsets are morphing into
true multimedia devices.

Customers can select their ringers from clips of music videos by Crime Mob, Big & Rich, T.I. and others from Warner Music. The company plans to add more videos to the list later this week.

The carrier also has begun offering video screensavers on some multimedia handsets.

Video ring tones can be downloaded for $3 each, and screensavers for $2.50 each, Sprint said. Customers can download them from handsets directly or from Sprint's Web site.

Sprint already sells ringers based on song clips. The company also said it is planning to offer movie, comedy and sports clips in the future.

In addition, Sprint last week added a music video channel to its cell phone service; the channel is available for a monthly fee of $6.

Downloadable content such as ring tones, video clips, news, sports content and other entertainment is emerging as a lucrative revenue stream for cell phone carriers. The revenue from ring tones alone is expected to be worth about $724 million in 2009, according to market researcher Jupiter Media.