Tuesday, September 16, 2008


One of the interesting companies presenting yesterday at Webinno was Brring. Free ringback tones for the crowds.
They got the formula right...music, free, for the crowds, that should work. maybe.

The service (read more on their site, but if you're lazy, here's what I got:) you upload your own tune, cut it to be a ringback length, and select who hears which tunes. (Future feature, community-style transactions (I guess) to share & recommend tunes). You get a number from them and whoever calls that number will hear a 5-10 sec audio ad, and then (and only then) the call will be forwarded to your phone and it will start ringing.

So a couple of thought (Otherwise why would I make this post?).
Here's the stuff I applaud Brring on:
  • Pretty bold: moving in on the operators (and vendors) ringback market, which although been stable or declining, is a pretty chunky market in a D2C move
  • Formula's right: Free, D2C, social for the crowds. It's all there. I can see kids rushing to it
  • Bring a friend and get paid feature: sure, even better. Free is not enough anymore (I see that too in Adva) in audience acquisition. So something for "bring your friend" will ignite a bigger fire
  • Not married to the carriers: I suppose they found a way to work around the carriers with this "Brring number" they use. Either way, not marrying the carriers is a smart move
Here's what I'm not convinced about:
  • Maybe most important, the content licensing bit. I've not read through the complete T&C, but briefly it looks like they hand the responsability for content to the fans. That's not gonna fly. If that's the strategy, they better get a good lawyers
  • You force someone who calls you (on this new number that you need to publish) to listen to the ad before your phone begins to ring. That goes right up the advertising tolerance discussion. hmmm...unsure about that. Good news (I think), you can turn the ads off for selected people (or can you? unsure)
Maybe all of these are issues that can be solved by figuring out the right product definition, but where the real smarts is, is figuring out what would motivate people to forget about the heavy Verizon advertising everywhere (Boy, with that ad budget, I wonder how they maintain their network) and go to their service. The typical D2C challenge.

Good luck guys!

Brring free ringback service

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