How to Create & Sell Ringtones

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Many people personalize their phones with ringtones.
Many people personalize their phones with ringtones. (Image: ponsulak/iStock/Getty Images)

A ringtone can be any type of audio, from parts of songs to your own voice recordings. If you can make catchy clips you can build a profitable business. The process is straightforward and involves few expenses, depending on the options you choose.

Researching Current Trends

Research ringtones on the market to understand the current trends. The information you gather will guide you in creating clips that people are likely to buy. You can check out trending ringtones online on websites like Billboard, iTunes and Myxer.

Audio Editing Programs

You can create a ringtone with one of many audio editing programs available on the Internet, free or for a fee. Some can be downloaded to your computer, while others are functional only on the provider's website. The program instructions are typically straightforward for easy use. Popular programs include Audacity, AVS Ringtone Maker and

Making an Audio Clip

The audio file you wish to modify should be saved on your computer. Open it with the editing program and use the tools to select the beginning and end of the part of the audio you want for a ringtone. Ringtones are typically 30 seconds long or less and include the catchiest section of the audio. Save the clip as an MP3 for use on most cellphones. If you choose to use an online editing program, upload the file to the provider's website and follow instructions to create your clip.

Reaching Customers

There are many venues for selling digital products online. Some of the websites that offer audio editing programs also provide stores or marketplaces on the site where you can sell your work. Note that many charge a fee for the service, which could be calculated per listing or per sale. If you would rather keep all profits, consider selling your ringtones through your website or blog by installing an ecommerce shopping cart on your page.

Selling Ringtones for iPhones

Content for Apple products are more regulated and only available through iTunes. If you wish to sell ringtones for iPhones on iTunes, you must either have a catalog of at least 20 albums or sell through one of the company's approved Apple-aggregators. Aggregators format and deliver content to iTunes for a fee. They include distributor sites like Snipsell, Catapault and Tunecore.

Operating within the Law

Many ringtones are songs from popular artists. However, keep in mind that it is illegal to use licensed work without the owner's authorization. If you want to make ringtones from a popular song, movie track or other copyrighted product, contact the creator or the licensing company. Note that you will have to pay a royalty fee on every ringtone you sell containing the work.

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