Tuesday, July 04, 2006

There's got to be money to be made here somehow...

As I suffered the tyranny of the "premium" ringtone on the train on Monday morning, it occurred to me that there's a missed opportunity.

Those who inflict novelty ringtones on the rest of the world have paid good money for the privilege. I sat, open mouthed, through an advert on Sunday evening offering three "emergency service alarm sounds" per week, at a charge of £3 per tone!

However, once you have paid this money, you are not strongly incented to answer the phone as soon as it rings. You want to hear the tone you've paid so much money for - and, of course, you want to share your exquisite taste with those around you.

This means that the caller must wait longer for their call to be answered and the call is in "ringing" state for longer.

In the UK, callers don't pay for unanswered calls. Yet.... there must be some way to monetise all those phones that are ringing for several seconds longer than they need to.

  • Adverts on the display of the callee? (What else are they going to do while they sit there, gormlessly, listening to the first verse of "Sweet Child of Mine" before answering it?)

  • Some way of charging the caller from the second they hear the ringing tone?

  • There has to be something....


Andrew Ferrier said...

All of these are good ways of making the network more money from the situation that exists, but I'm not sure they will solve the offensive ringtone problem (which may not have been your objective anyway, to be fair).

Adverts would be good though. That 'penalises' the callee for being tasteless. The only problem is that some of them will like the adverts too and let the phone ring even longer.

Charging the caller, whilst probably good for the network, certainly won't solve any offensiveness problems - there is no incentive for the callee to answer quickly, apart from the tangential one of saving someone else a bit of money.

I would still like to find an actual incentive to cut down on the bad-ringtone problem.

Perhaps some form of mild electrical charge?

Richard Brown said...

All good points.... I guess I wasn't actually trying to change human behaviour; I was merely trying to profit from it :-)

If people can be persuaded to let phones ring for longer - and there is a way to make it pay - then I want a part of it!