Push-Ringer : Emotive Communication gets $7.7M investment from Warner and Bertelsmann

The ringtone sales in US were about $600M last year and are expected to be about $550M this year. It is not uncommon for a song to sell more copies as a ringtones for $2.99 a pop then as a digital download for $0.99 from iTune.

The mobile phone industry has tried introducing several new products to enlarge this space. Ringback Tone - instead of the ringing sound, this is the tone that a caller hears while the call is being connected; End Tone - this is the snippet that is played to let you know that the call has ended, but these have not been as successful.

Now comes the Push-Ringer. It reverses the common ringtone model. It pushes the caller’s choice of tone to your phone, temporarily overriding your own ringtone settings. It enables a caller to specify an outgoing ringtone to the receiving phone, allowing the caller, not the called person, to set the tone. The ringers can comprise of audio, video, animations, avatars or flash files.

Emotive communication have demonstrated their push-Ringer technology for VOIP and for 3G and 4G phones. The product has already gained significant traction with consumers. Emotive has a flagship product for Skyp (a VOIP network) called RingJacker, which has been installed 800,000 times and has shown a great peer to peer adoption potential.

I am not sure about the ringtones being pushed, but I think there is some value to a picture being pushed when a person calls. Almost all modern mobile phones allow associating a picture to a contact but this feature is grossly underused. However, if the system allowed for “pushing” of a picture along with the tone, I can see that the service might be useful and go beyond the novelty feature.

The D. E. Shaw group, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Warner Music Group and other angel investors have invested $7.7 million in Emotive Communications.

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