NPD: Women and Rap Rule Ringtone Market

Mobile phone makers and operators are always touting their handsets’ and services’ ringtone capabilities, crowing they have the latest and greatest offerings so you can customize your phone to reflect your mood and personality. (Nevermind wondering how paying to play pre-recorded snippets of someone else’s music reflects your personality—it’ll make your head hurt.)

So what exactly appeals to consumers as ringtones? According to market research firm The NPD Group, rap and hip-hop ringtones account for 23 percent of ringtone downloads among more than 75,000 survy respondents. Next up: rock (17 percent), R&B (11 percent) and pop (11 percent), and alternative (8 percent).

NPD also finds younger consumers are more likely to go the whole ringtone thang. According to the survey firm’s data, 26 percent of consumers who downloaded a ringtone in July 2006 were from 13 to 17 years of age, and 22 percent were between 18 and 24. And, also in July 2006, 53 percent of consumers who downloaded ringtones were women or girls, while just 47 percent of ringtone buyers were men and boys.

“Ringtones have become very popular among consumers—especially teens and young adults who use them as personal identifiers that broadcast the type of music they want to be identified with to friends and strangers alike,” according to Neil Strother, NPD Group’s research director for mobile devices, content, and services.

When asked for their reasons for buying a particular ringtone, music preferences rule: 89 percent of ringtone buyers said they downloaded a ringtone because they liked a particular song, and 62 percent cited they liked the artist. Only 24 percent said price was a factor in their purchase, and only 7 percent said they bought a ringtone because of a recommendation from a friend or family member.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

Here’s what’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in April 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for April 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini certainly isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here are our impressions of Apple’s new 7.9-inch…

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks for the best portable chargers.

You can now listen to Google Podcasts on your desktop without the app

The Google Podcasts app is no longer entirely necessary to listen to the podcasts it offers. With a simple tweak of the sharing URL, you can listen to a Google Podcasts podcast on your desktop or laptop without the app.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.

T-Mobile goes after big cable companies, pilots wireless home internet service

In a shot at big cable companies, T-Mobile is launching a new pilot program to bring an unlimited wireless LTE home internet service to up to 50,000 homes across the United States by the end of 2019.

Type away on the best iPad keyboard cases, from the Mini to the Pro

Whether you're looking to replace your laptop with a tablet or merely want to increase your typing speed, a physical iPad keyboard is the perfect companion to the iPad. Check out our top picks for every available iPad model.

Apple patent suggests Apple Watch bands could have built-in fitness indicators

Apple may be exploring ways to make Apple Watch bands a little more useful. A new patent has been filed by Apple that suggests Apple Watch bands could eventually have indicators for things like fitness goals.

Apple patents hint at improved Apple Store and unboxing experiences

It looks like Apple is working on ways to improve the Apple Store and product unboxing experiences. The company has been awarded a few patents, largely for tech that can be used in product packaging to ensure products stay charged.

Fossil made a smartwatch in 2004, and it’s part of a new brand retrospective

Fossil has been making watches for 35 years, and to celebrate the anniversary, it has a new retrospective exhibit complete with the first smartwatch it made — the Wrist Net watch from 2004.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for March 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.