Calling a friend? Listen to an advert. You lucky, lucky thing

Ringbacks get even more ANNOYING

Do you ever think that the time you spend listening to a phone ringing is wasted? ChannelVAS does. It wants to use that time to sell you things.

The idea the company has had is that instead of listening to a ringing sound you could be listening to an ad. The mobe network could then make money from selling that time to advertisers, and it’s dubbed the service Advoice.

ChannelVAS claimed that there were a potential 12 billion ad impressions daily; three times the number of internet searches performed each day.

“Serving ads over the ringback tone has a wider reach than any other medium” said Bassim Haidar, Group CEO of ChannelVAS.

“Advertiser benefits include measurability, zero wastage and lead generating capabilities, as callers can express product interest by pressing an action key.”

The company said it has a first customer, a network with 200 million subscribers, but was shy of telling us who that customer was, quoting the marketing manager for the mysterious network as saying: “AdVoice gives digital advertisers the opportunity to re-target their mobile users via multi-Mobile Network Operator channels and generate revenues from sources other than subscribers.”

It isn’t ground-breaking, however: mobile operators have been trying and failing to foist paid-for ringback tones – the sound callers hear when you are not answering – on subscribers for years.

Even the advert idea isn't new. Jajah, tried something similar in 2007, with a 50:50 revenue share between the network and subscriber.

ChannelVAS doesn’t suggest that subscribers should share in the ad sales but Blyk – a service which gave you free calls when your mates listened to advertisements – failed in 2009.

It initially found success in recruiting subscribers, particularly by promoting to students on campuses. But Blyk ran into trouble after discovering it was difficult to shift ads when the customers were so poor that they were prepared to sell their friends listening time to get a free phone call. ®

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