Projections based on past seven quarters data.

BMI is projecting U.S. ringtone retail sales this year will surpass $600 million, up $100 million from last year.

BMI tracks census sales data on more than 325 outlets for the sale of mobile entertainment in the United States. Its projections are based on ringtone transactions over the past seven quarters. The performing rights organization pegged the market at $245 million in 2004 and $68 million in 2003, respectively.

“We see the market maturing in 2006 with growth fueled by an increase in multimedia handsets and more aggressive marketing by wireless carriers,” says Richard Conlon, BMI VP of business development. “We believe that the market will grow by 20% for the ringtone sector alone in 2006. We also see 2006 as the make or break year for the ringback tone market, which is still in the novelty phase in the United States. Additional music-based revenues should be realized from mobile subscription music services, which have just begun U.S. roll out.”

Since entering the market in 2001, BMI has tracked and processed more than 360,000,000 individual ringtone sales by title, artist and gross retail revenues generated. BMI uses the data that it collects to distribute public performance royalties on a pro-rated basis to its affiliated songwriters, composers and music publishers.