BMAs To Introduce Ringtone Award

Honor to be presented during Dec. 8 show.

Billboard will hand out its inaugural award for best-selling ringtone at this year's Billboard Music Awards, it was announced today (Nov. 5) at the Billboard Digital Entertainment Conference in Los Angeles.

The honor -- to be presented during the Dec. 8 awards show, which will air live on Fox TV from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas -- will be based on sales tracked by the new Billboard Hot Ringtones chart.

"We're thrilled to be the first awards show to recognize the best-selling ringtone in the U.S.," says John Kilcullen, president of the VNU Music and Literary Group and publisher of Billboard. "Billboard has long been synonymous with measuring the popularity of music. This award recognizes the growth of the cell phone as a digital commerce platform for music consumption and will be a staple of our awards show for years to come."

The 2003 Billboard Music Awards broadcast reached 9.8 million U.S. viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research.