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Virgin customers hip on ringback tones

You know, I never understood the appeal of ringback tones. Maybe it’s because they were introduced when I was too old to care. I did enjoy music ringtones for a period (Wolfmother’s “Woman” was my song of choice), but even that novelty died rather fast — to the point where I cringe when I hear crappy-quality music blaring from someone’s cell phone speaker. Ringback tones are a totally new ballgame, though. The only person that hears it is the person calling you. So basically you’re dropping money for the enjoyment of others. That might be considered a “nice” act, but I think it’s kind of wasteful. But since it’s so damn popular, it appears my opinion counts for squat. Anyway, Virgin introduced these a few months ago, and they’ve become a huge hit on their network.

Reports are that 100,000 Virgin subscribers currently use ringbacks. And not only that, they average two ringbacks each. And you know there are people with jukeboxes out there who are bringing up that average.

“We always look to provide our customers with rich content and choice, allowing them to create their own mobile identities,” said Wes Radez, director of mobile content for Virgin Mobile USA. “More and more consumers are looking for ways to add their own style into the many ways they communicate, and Ringback Tones are something our customers appreciate.”

Most popular among Virgin Mobile customers are Ringback Tones in the hip-hop and R&B categories. Some of the top Ringback Tone titles selected by Virgin Mobile customers are: “Shawty Is A 10” (The Dream); “Bed” (J. Holiday); “Heaven Sent” (Keyshia Cole); “Crank That – Tell ‘Em/Ne-Yo Chorus (Soulja Boy); and “Apologize,” (by OneRepublic featuring Timbaland).

I’m actually more on board with their featured Black History Month and Old School Rap songs, which include a few by guitar god Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Ice Cube, and Eric B. and Rakim.

(Side note. Saw Rakim live late last year. He was beyond incredible. Might be the best emcee in terms of smoothness of his rhymes I’ve ever heard.)

Ringback tones will cost you $1.99 a pop. You can nab them at Virgin Mobile’s website.

[CNN Money]