Ringbacks as a new Mobile Marketing Tool

Rafat Ali writes about Ringbacks on Ringtonia.com :
Ringbacks are the hottest thing in the mobile content market right now. This is not some vaporware like the music downloads on mobiles (...)

For those of you who don't know what ringback tones are, the concept came out of South Korea. Ringbacks are like call waiting tones, only less annoying. Say you call someone on their mobile phone…instead of getting the phone ring sound from your side, you will hear a music clip or a ringtone which your friend who you called has selected. (...)
Ringbacks offer mobile phone users great new possibilities to customize their mobile experience. Reasonably priced it will surely bring in nice revenues with high margins for the carriers and mobile content providers.

But ringbacks will probably also become an interesting tool for mobile or viral marketing. Like branded style sheets for personal web-sites ringback tones are visible (or in this case audible) to the outside world. This makes it a very potent viral agent. Rafat writes in his article about how labels could use this to promote new music. But it certainly will also work with commercial jingles from ones favorite brand.

Or how about a less subtle approach: using real commercials as a ringback tone, which lets the person who is called earn a few cents for every incoming call. Not a very good idea for the phone of an average middle manager, but great for a very different target group: young kids, who are eager to find ways to reduce those heavy SMS bills...

More on Ringbacks:
- Article on the subject from BBC News
- Ringback Category on Ringtonia