Google to monetize Voice via ringback advertising auctions?

The newly announced Google Voice looks like a great service that should ease your communication problems on multiple devices significantly.

And Google is already thinking of the ways of monetizing Voice. In a way it knows best – through advertising. And it just might work.

When I use my phone, there is actually one time, when I wouldn’t really mind listening to some short audio adverts. Especially if Google can make them relevant to me.

It’s that time between when I dial the number and the person I called answers the phone. Filled with those boring beeps or stupid ringback tones from the operator.

This is exactly the place where Google wants to insert their short audio advertisements, described in a patent app “Ringback  advertising”.

Google ringback patent

And it’s thinking about setting the self serving audio advertising system in a way that is pretty similar to how Google Adwords works. Complete with auction bidding, Listen Through Ratio and quality scores.

Advertisers can structure their ads by various product categories, location, which can easily be determined for each caller and then start the bidding contest for their ads to be played. The callers can also set up in their profile which categories of ads they are interested in.

There’s also a place for a third party publishers in the system. This can be a service organization or professional, retailer or, possibly, even you and me.

The electronics chain can become a publisher, and set up an audio adverts from the vendors in the chain to be played each time someone calls one of their stores or help lines. Then LG and Samsung can start bidding contest on whose ad will be played, and the publisher gets a significant cut every time the ad is listened to.

Of course, this can work not only through Google voice. Actually, it could be enough to install some software to company PBX and the system will be on.

But if Google Voice gains traction with tens of millions of users throughout the world, this can open another pretty nice income stream to Google.

And with the targeting capabilities that Google will have if it connects your Google Voice to everything it knows about you through your main Google account, this might get pretty interesting… and even a bit scary.

Especially if you add all the info that your Android phone, or any other mobile device with installed Google Voice client, can collect about you.

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • Mike

    Sounds cool :)

  • D__R

    Sounds terrible. I need that time to collect my thoughts and concentrate on the conversation I'm about to have. If Google fills that space with ads I'll stop using Voice immediately.

  • davidciccarelli

    We already provide voice ads for other call networks. It's only a matter of time that Google comes to the party and starts dabbling in a clearly profitable arena.

  • davidciccarelli

    After reading the article a second time, this isn't ringback advertising, it's on-hold advertising.

  • Krishna Santani

    Yet another innovation by Google… If they can implement this in a more strategic manner then it can open a new stream of income to them. This services can bring down the call rates or even make them free. Win-Win situation for both consumers as well as mobile operators!

  • Bedrijvengids

    With all the recnt reports out there that people trust TV ads more than online, I'd think people would start understanding how these media could be most effectively used together – broadcast to generate Awareness and Interest, online to stimulate Desire and Action. Integrated is the most efficient approach.

  • Suzan

    This is not a new thing. Ringback Advertising is realized by Turkcell more than 1 year ago.

  • Suzan

    This is not a new thing. Ringback Advertising is realized by Turkcell more than 1 year ago.