AT&T: Yeah, Putting Ads In People's Ringtones Sounds Like A Great Idea

from the this-ring-brought-to-you-by-Ovaltine dept

An AT&T executive is touting how the company’s efforts to get the old Ma Bell gang back together will help it beat cable operators, because of its ability to offer wireless services through Cingular. He says that once the AT&T-BellSouth merger closes (it’s scheduled to be voted on by the FCC on Friday, but questions still remain over what conditions will be attached), AT&T will be able to use wireless services as a differentiator for a few years, before cable companies’ JV with Sprint yields any results. That sounds like little more than hype, since he later says it will be two years before AT&T can offer any sort of integrated services between its wired video and wireless networks, by which time this supposed head start will have evaporated. What’s more striking from the article, however, is that he apparently says advertising on mobile phones will be a cornerstone of the fully merged up company’s mobile efforts, and it’s considering putting ads in ringtones. Yes, you read that correctly: somebody at AT&T thinks advertising in customers’ ringtones is a good idea. The fact that they’re even considering this would be unbelievable if it wasn’t coming from somebody like AT&T. Sure, this might open up a new revenue stream, but it’s unlikely that it would come close to offsetting the damage done by irritating customers — and alienating non-AT&T users (otherwise known as “potential customers”) as well. We’ve pointed out before how the telcos hate to innovate. If this is the kind of “innovations” they come up with, perhaps they should just give up altogether.

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Comments on “AT&T: Yeah, Putting Ads In People's Ringtones Sounds Like A Great Idea”

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Jim says:

AT&T Ringtone ads

Somebody creates a ringtone ad that says “This call brought to you by…”. I can see some crafty lawyer waiting a few weeks or months till the ad has had several million “plays” then finding a couple of people to initiate a class action suit asking for the money the users were charged for that call. “They thought the call was free because the call was brought to them by …”

Sanguine Dream says:

Putting ads on ringtones...

Do I even have to ask where revenue from this new source it going? I highly doubt the quality of service will improve. Perhaps expanding coverage area? Don’t think so. Wait maybe it will lower the monthly bills for custo-. There’s no way in hell that is happening. And that is why a phone that lets you make your own ringtones is good.

Early Adopter says:

Re: Putting ads on ringtones...

This isn’t really that new an idea- it’s basically SMS ringtone charges in reverse: instead of you text, you receive, you get billed, it’s becomes you text, you receive, you get a service credit. AT&T is completely retarded. They know it won’t fly as a mandatory service so all the Chicken Little’s can stop clucking and go back to your game of Halo.

As for those who think wireless companies wouldn’t plow most of the revenue back into customer credits: you really don’t understand the current business model: making basic service a loss leader/gateway to premium serivces. Right now the name of the game is to make basic service as cheap as possible and no one in their right mind would consider pimping their phone to be a premium service.

I think this is great news: ROM hackers will have a blast trying to achive free service while keeping their own ringtones. It may end up being the last frontier for pheaking.

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