RingBack Tone Advertising Opportunity

Everyone is now familiar with Ringback Tones or CRBT [ Caller Ring Back Tones] as it called in Telecom industry.

The normal [tring tring] sound of a phone ringing is substituted by a sound of the subscriber’s choice. These can be jingles, songs, popular movie dialogues, mimicry of famous actor’s voice, etc.

Nowadays in corporate India, companies that provide their employees with mobile handsets have their company’s advt punchlines & jingles as default ringback tones. ET has a report on it here.

Now, what if advertisers could play these jingles or ads on non-corporates, ie retail mobile users. It could be offset by the cellular operator giving back a portion of that amount to the user. If this amount makes any significant difference in the everyday mobile bill of the common man, I bet there would millions of people who would opt for this facility.

COAI reports that the All India GSM subscriber base for May 2007 was 130 million.

Enter Google.

Google is what it is today, because of it’s ability to make complex things simple, user friendly & it’s proven bidding advertising platform ie, Adwords. Google now has Audio ads & Mobile ads too.

What if, Google could provide a similar bidding platform, where by an advertiser could bid for Ringback tones. Google being the aggregator for cellular companies.

Just see the potential application, any advertiser from any part of the world, could bid & advertise his audio file on any handset anywhere!

When there are billions & billions at stake, even the impossible can happen, mobile operators, ie cellular companies, could share the user’s demographics to Google. If this happens you can even expect to have free mobile usage, if your cost is being subsidized by advertising.

I found out that there seems to be already a patent filed for this, see here. Maybe that’s what stopping Google from doing this? Anyone has an answer/comments/feeback to this?


Google acquired GrandCentral in June, press release here.

One of the many applications from GrandCentral is RingShare, in which you can customize sounds for your ringback tone. Link for RingShare is here.

All this means that Google could very well in future come up with this RingBack Tone advertizing platform.
Ringback tone

Author: prash

Hiya All !! Prash from Pune, India.

12 thoughts on “RingBack Tone Advertising Opportunity”

  1. @ Ash,

    Yes, that’s true for current web applications. But, for this one, the telecom operator can provide an API, by which potential advertisers would be able to select, target audience, by geography, age, occupation & various other demographics. Then the advertiser would bid for say 10,000 users, select telecom operator, city, demographics, etc & upload his audio file which can be retrieved by the mobile operator & pushed to the respective subscribers.

  2. @ Rahul,

    No Rahul, G is not entering the ring back advertizing industry [as of now]. I just contemplated/mentioned that they could do this in future.

  3. Good post, I think you’re actually on to something. Google will be all over this type of advertising if they can get in the game regarding the 700 Mhz space auction.

    Verizon and others are pushing back for good reason. Google has the stuff to make you panic man.

  4. There is another company (not the one named in the linked patent) who developed this concept last year and will launch it soon in the US and EU in 2008(?).

  5. im doing a university project on ringback technology and the adaption of it to advertising, where could i find more information about this concept and if any companies are successfully doing this yet or any problems they might encounter were they to attempt this??

  6. Ive read somewhere that ICIC bank in india has used this RBT advertising . Can someone confirm this ?? Also , what are the rates for kind of advertising ? and who creates the jingle or audio ad for ICIC ??

  7. Turkcell Breaking Ground in the Advertizing World!

    Callers can listen to Advertizements From Their Mobile Cell Phones ‘Tone & Win’

    Turkcell has launched “TonlaKazan” (“Tone&Win”), an innovative mobile advertising platform. By choosing a branded RingBack Tone on TonlaKazan, Turkcell customers will win airtime or credits when their callers listen to branded music

    TonlaKazan, the world’s first RingBack Tone mobile advertising platform, is a unique and innovative solution for the advertising industry. Turkcell (customers win airtime or credits depending on the amount of time their callers listen to a branded RingBack Tone selected by the customer. During the launch period only a limited amount of Turkcell customers will be able to register for TonlaKazan.

    It is possible to become a member of TonlaKazan through Web, Wap and SMS channels. Customers can simply select the branded music of their choice as a RingBack Tone that they want their social community to hear.

    4play Digital Workshop, a provider of innovative products and ideas, partnered with Turkcell to develop TonlaKazan.

    TonlaKazan has a performance-based pricing model, Cost Per Listening (CPL) in which advertisers are charged according to the amount of branded RingBack Tones that callers hear, providing a measurable advertising channel.


  8. Hi,
    Ringback tone Ads are a really new issue, I was looking for more information and I found this company, CPM telecom, they developed a Ring Back Tone Advertising platform for mobile carriers and advertisers, so I hope that mobile carriers will be aware of that issue and in a future all could benefit of this kind of services.

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