I was speaking last night with Gene Retske of Prepaid Press while taking part in the Excel Switching user Group meeting and during the course of our conversation he mentioned tattoos. He explained how he sees the customization of telecom being similar to the customization of the body. Good point and this probably explains the billions being spent on ring tones.
The topic of ring back tones came up and I estimated in the conversation that this market will be perhaps 15% of the ring tone market. Gene says he has seen projections that peg ring back as a bigger market than ring tones.
I suppose this is possible and I started to think about celerity ring back tones such as having Donald Trump saying "Thanks for calling, to avoid being fired stay on the line until you are connected." People will certainly pay for such a tone.
I thought of all of this when I read David Sims's blog this early AM where he points out how nice the recent Nokia press release is to read. He quotes and I quote:
"Continuing to push the boundaries of mobile phone design, Nokia has introduced a collection of three trend-inspired mobile phones, the Nokia 7360, Nokia 7370 and Nokia 7380. Each model in the L'Amour Collection offers a beautiful mix of contrasts – infusing cultural and ethnic influences with luxurious touches of the unexpected. Hints of vintage and craftsmanship [sic], are fused with natural materials, colors and patterns, all carefully crafted and layered with a passion for detail."
The concept of customization is certainly alive in telecom and cell phones have certainly been on the leading edge of this curve. What makes this so exciting is that as prices fall for telephony in general the add-ons will have to be what makes the money. I always talk about services and certainly ring tones and ring back tones are two that are doing well. Skype recently rolled out ring tones and I am pretty interested in speaking with Niklas Zennstrom next week at ITEXPO to get an idea if this is making money for Skype. I am certainly curious to know if there is an opportunity for other VoIP service providers to make money in new and different ways such as ring tones and ring back.