Saturday, May 19, 2007


Alex Amosu is Britain’s First Ringtone Millionaire

Born to Nigerian Parents in London 1975 Alex Amosu’s north London entrepreneur made his first million at the age of 24 by selling ring tones of the latest R&B and hip hop tracks. The first he sold was a monophonic version of ‘Big Pimpin’’ by the New York rapper Jay-Z.

Amosu has been described as an archetype of the generation who instinctively understand and exploit succeeding waves of technological innovation - Amosu is adept at spotting the confluences of youth culture and new mobile, internet and communication behaviours, and leveraging them into hard cash.

Amosu did not like asking his parents for money and so he was always on the look-out for ideas seeing opportunities that can be turned into revenue. Whether they’re successful or not didnt really matter - he would do it, market it and if it works, make money.

When he was 25 he bought a mobile phone and realised he could compose tunes on it. Other people were doing the same thing, but passing them around their friends for free.

Amosu having bought a Nokia phone, found the Composer facility and programmed “Big Pimpin’” into it. His brother liked the concept and asked him if he could have the phone. Amosu did not think of it much.His brother went to school the next day, and it went off in class. Everybody wanted it. All of a sudden there were 21 people on his doorstep - no way was he going to give everyone a ringtone for free.He told them to give him a pound each. That was Amosu's first ringtone scheme.

Amosu realised it was an opportunity to make a fortune. After researching the market, he launched his company. In his final university year pursuing aeronautical engineering degree Amosu quit to expand his fledgling company, R&B Ringtones.Amosu did some research, and found there were three companies supplying Ringtones,-One in Germany, one in the UK and one in Holland. All the ringtones were pop and rock, not R&B. It was perfect for Amosu as he took the R&B market. He hired his mother and brothers to answer calls and dispatch ringtones from the family living room using cheaply available mobile technologies, PCs and premium-rate phonelines.

"a business idea is no good without implementation, planning and knowledge"
With this in mind I have embarked on many ventures and enterprises.

Meanwhile Amosu promoted the service on the back of flyers for college balls. ‘I ran back home from handing out flyers at a Valentine’s Ball, and I’d made £91 by the time I got home. I had one computer at the time,’ he says, ‘and the company grew by word of mouth. Within three months he had gone from being refused by all the banks to hiring 21 staff and opening two offices. In a year, Amosu made a million.

Amosu has also utilised ‘inspirational ringtones’ - biblical passages, quotable cinematic nuggets and momentous speeches, such as Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a dream…’ monologue.

Ringtones are today big business worth billions of dollars and with the unfolding communications technology landscape fortunes can be made from a good idea swiftly executed. ‘People can come in with a good idea and make a lot of money,’ Amosu observes. ‘The mobile market has made so many millionaires in a short space of time. It’s about having a good idea and being the first to do it.’

‘A guy in, say, Sweden can sign up and say he wants to receive free pop videos,’ Amosu explains. ‘A record company will call me and says they want to release a new video before it goes to MTV, and pay me to deliver it to handsets. This service is 99.9 per cent accurate in targeting – if users get it on their phone, you know they’re gonna watch it. Compare that with TV advertising - you can’t guarantee who’s going to see a video.’

Even though Amosu considers himself as having been relatively successful, "I'm only 30 and I don't really think I've achieved anything. Richard Branson and Alan Sugar have made it. Until I reach that level I won't congratulate myself. The drive is constant, I don't take breaks, but, hopefully, all the effort will make me stronger as a businessman. The key is to never give up. The difference with entrepreneurs is that we see opportunities everywhere. We have the eye for potentially successful schemes and we persevere until we know if it will work. We don't find excuses not to try."

How do I, and many like me, manage to do what we do? Here's the answer...
what entrepreneurs do is see a pattern that no one else does, a gap in the market All of my companies are conceived and built on this principal.


• At the age of 12 earned £10 a week doing paper round
• Started his first business at age 15 holding school football, basket ball and table tournaments.
• Started Promotion, a Sound system and PA hire company hosting and playing at house parties and nights clubs called Shadow King Crew, earning £250 per show.
• Promoted 37 parties in total averaging £2,000 per night
• Started a cleaning company called HomeCare Cleaning Agency at age 19 turning over £4,000 p/m with a total of 12 clients. Although that didn't work out, Amosu kept trying other projects to see what would. It didn't come from a burning ambition, "I just needed to live".
• The first person to start urban ringtones in Europe at age 24 after he sold his cleaning company.
• Made his first million at the age 25
• At the age of 26 started his own magazine called ICON
• Started a new company selling off line mobile phones
• Holds five awards starting from “Entrepreneur of the year award”
• Created the first ringtones book and software Polywap 2.1 that allows you to send ringtones around the world from your PC.
• Had first TV show at 28 called Rich & Famous
• Started inspirational speaking at schools, colleges and business seminars
• The first to start the world first mobile video community site, here you can upload, download and share content.
• Launched Mobsworld 2005, mobile playground for your phone
• Partner and Investor in Screen Nation Awards, the first Black film and television awards in the UK

Alex Amosu Official Website
Short Film Interview with Alex Amosu Click here

1 comment:


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