“Push Ringer” allows a caller to push an outgoing ringtone to a receiving phone allowing the caller, not the called person, to set the tone and override the phone’s pre-set ringer.
Major music, media and technology investment companies invest in evolutionary media-telephony venture to significantly increase the value of the mobile music market. The D. E. Shaw group, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Warner Music Group and prominent media and telephony angel investors have invested $7.7 million in Emotive Communications, Inc., a media technology and services provider that has developed a real-time interactive ringtone format for 3G, 4G and VoIP services.
Emotive’s flagship product, the patent-pending “Push Ringer”, reverses the common ringtone model. It enables a caller to push an outgoing ringtone to the receiving phone allowing the caller, not the called person, to set the tone. The chosen Ringer is transmitted to the recipient’s handset and temporarily overrides the phone’s pre-set ringer. The ringers can comprise audio, video, animations, avatars or flash files. Closing the loop, if the called person likes the ringtone, the service also enables him or her to instantly buy a copy of the ringtone for his or her own phone. Emotive’s Push Ringer moves beyond traditional mobile personalization by both adding value to the ringtones users purchase for their own phones and providing content recommendation and impulse-purchase opportunities to the users’ friends, family and coworkers. This new technology represents a vastly more active, expressive and compelling form of call personalization than exists in today’s ringtone market which is otherwise showing signs of leveling off at only about 6% of mobile subscribers, worldwide, The Push Ringer leverages rapidly emerging broadband wireless telephone and wire-line VOIP networks.
The product has already gained significant traction with consumers. Since its launch on Skype’s VOIP network in 2006, Push Ringer (known to Skype users as “Ringjacker”) has been installed more than 800,000 times and is demonstrating significant peer to peer pass-along rates. Emotive is unveiling its mobile prototype of the Push Ringer at the IMS World Forum in Monaco on April 24th 2007.
“Our Push Ringer brings a new level of real-time interactive multimedia enhancement to telecommunications,” said Emotive CEO Anthony Stonefield. “Consumers are influenced by their peers. We are creating the ultimate ‘word of mouth’ network, literally by inserting music and video into the initiation of a phone call.”
“Emotive Communications represents the arrival of ‘social’ sampling and distribution of ringtones and other media using mobile devices, a phenomenon of potentially great import for both content companies and consumers,” said Richard Sarnoff, President of Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments.
“We think that the widespread emergence of IP telecoms is opening new fields of innovation,” said Andre Turenne, a senior vice president at the D. E. Shaw group. “In our opinion, Emotive is a key innovator at the point of convergence between multimedia and network communications.”
“Emotive Communications has created a product that further advances mobile social networking. We view our work with Emotive as an extension of our product innovation efforts in the digital music space,” said Alex Zubillaga, executive vice president of Digital Strategy and Business Development, Warner Music Group.