Voice Activated Ringtone Search

411-Song (previously Musikube) is launching a service in the fourth quarter that will allow people to search for ringtones by speaking into the mobile handset.
CEO Sunjay Guleria ran me through the service…after calling you say the name of the band you want (in this case Black Eyed Peas) and the automated voice on the other end repeats it back to you — everytime they check you say “OK” to confirm — they system then tells you how many polyphonic and master ringtones are available and which one you want, then it tells you the price and plays you a sample. If you say “OK” it sends an SMS with a download link. The idea is that it’s easier to search this way than via a wap page, and it’s on the mobile rather than another device. It searches Zingy’s database of ringtones but any database of content could be plugged in…”The strategy is to work with mobile operators of course, but the strategy is to work with anyone in the game who doesn’t want the big upfront cost of building this,” said Guleria.
The system includes a CRM client which can record what people search for so companies licensing it could include ads based on what the customer is searching for…either audio ads while the system is searching (otherwise it’s just beeps) or ads included in the SMS that contains the download link. “The sales channel would essentially enable a third party to license this core piece and sell advertising on top of that,” said Guleria.
Naturally any further SMS ads sent to the user would annoy the customer no end, and hopefully no-one will be stupid enough to do it.
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