Do you remember 'ringback tones'? You dial up your BFF and instead of a standard ringing sound in your ear, you hear a message that says something like, "Please enjoy this ringback tone while your party is reached." Then you get to hear whatever 'totally awesome' favorite song the person is into at the time until they answer.

Yeah, those annoying things.

It dawned on me the other day that I haven't heard a ringback tone in a while, not that I'm complaining. On October 31, 2020, ringback tones officially became dead tech when the largest US carrier quietly discontinued the service. I'm amazed that they lasted that long.

DoCoMo Introduces New Cellular Phone
Getty Images

According to a Fox Business article from 2020, ringback tones were first introduced in 2004 and were expanded a year later. Then everyone from your youngest relative to your grandmom had one on their phone. They were EVERYWHERE!

KIKN-FM / Kickin' Country 99.1/100.5 logo
Get our free mobile app

The Fox Business article says at the peak of the ringback tone craze, you could choose from 2400 songs in 13 genres and I bet that I heard every one of those songs on people's phones over the years.

CeBIT Computer Trade Fair Opens
Getty Images

I never had a ringback tone on my phone. Maybe because I was too cheap to pay whatever it cost per month to annoy a person calling me with a song that they probably don't like. Or maybe it's that I'm such a music snob that I don't want someone pushing their favorite songs on me.

I'm kidding about the music snob part, but that brings up a good point. What happens if you call someone and they have a ringback tone of a country song and you like hip hop? You like rock music but their ringback tone is a show tune. I could see how some people would get torqued off about that.

90% of Cellular Phones With Digital Camera In Japan
Getty Images

What killed the ringtone? Did it just run its course or did texting do it in? Maybe a little of both, but if I had to guess I would say texting. I mean who actually calls anyone today?

So rest in peace ringback tone, you won't be missed.


It’s 1989, where is your family going out to eat?

If you are a Sioux Falls 80s Kid, you probably spent many nights cruising the loop, browning the records at Musicland, and going out to eat at one of these gone but not forgotten Sioux Falls institutions.

On social media, we asked you all: ‘It’s 1989, where is your family going out to eat?’ Here’s what you said.

More From KIKN-FM / Kickin' Country 99.1/100.5