BayPackets Does Ringbacks

If there is a genius idea out there it is putting ringtone and ringback capability into the US telecom market. It is not a new idea but we in the US seem to be the last in the world to be making money in this space. Ringtones are making a fortune for mobile providers in Europe and Asia and in the states it has been slow to catch on. Part of the slowness in my opinion is less marketing of the concept here and the fact that the US is generally behind most of the world when it comes to mobile and other sorts of telephony.

I mentioned the lack of domestic wireline carriers getting into the ringtone business just this weekend and I am blown away that wireline carriers are acting so slowly in getting into this market.

I saw a good sign that the ringback market is evolving here as BayPackets just announced they are leveraging RealNetworks to provide multimedia ringback tones for service providers.

In 2003, ringtone revenue topped $2.3 billion worldwide, according to telecom consultancy Ovum. According to Ovum, the worldwide market for "ring backs" is projected to grown from US$148 million in 2003 to US$2.4 billion by 2008. Callers can hear ringback tones regardless of a phone’s make or model, or whether the call is placed from a mobile or landline number.

What sort of ringback tones would we expect to hear in the real-world? Perhaps love songs for spouses or pop music and cartoons for kids. 3G phones and some others will be able to play video clips.

I personally think that a Donald Trump ringback tone that says “To avoid getting fired, stay on the line until (insert name here) picks up,” will generate lots of revenue. Celebrity ringbacks are a goldmine in my opinion. There is a lot of money here and every service provider should be in the ringtone and ringback market.

In my opinion this is a very smart move for BayPackets and this positions them as a strong player in the market. The question is will service providers follow? In my opinion they better, as revenue per minute will continue to drop and other revenue sources are needed to be a viable service provider nowadays.

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