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.
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?
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.