What it is: MyxerTags, a division of mobile-technology company mVisible, creates ringtones. Primarily marketed to independent bands that wanted to distribute ringtones and wallpaper downloads on their MySpace pages, MyxerTags now targets brands, helping them make custom promotional ringtones available at their Web sites or branded MySpace pages.
How it works: A visitor to a MySpace profile or Web page clicks on a button to download a ringtone, and is sent to a MyxerTags landing page to enter a phone number. In most cases, MyxerTags then sends a text message with a download link, which any Internet-enabled phone can access.
Who's using it: Crispin Porter & Bogusky used the technology to create ringtones for its Volkswagen GTI characters, "Miss Helga," a German dominatrix-style adrenaline junkie, and "Your Fast," a little robot. Visitors to Miss Helga's MySpace page can download accented exclamations such as "Faster! Faster!" and "It's definitely sucking!"
So far about 100,000 people have downloaded MyxerTags ringtones, and the company is averaging about 1,000 downloads a day.
What it costs: Bands can give away the ringtones, and MyxerTags sells advertising on the landing page, in the text message (which it says can be used for lead generation) and on the download page. Bands that want to charge for ringtones enter a revenue-sharing agreement.
Why it's likely to take off: The U.S. telecom market is beginning to open up and allow outside companies to distribute content to mobile phone users. Abroad, the mobile phone business already operates like this, employing more of an open, Internet-style distribution system.