If you’re bored listening to the dull ring-ring sounds while you’re waiting for the person you’ve called to pick up, Google may have just the thing for you. As Unwired View reports, Google has just been awarded a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), whereby the ringback tone that you hear on calls that you initiate would be replaced by an audio advertisement.
While it’s only a patent award for now – and not a guarantee that the feature will be implemented – it’s likely that Google will be exploring ways to introduce it in some way, given the obvious advantages that it would bring for the company. Clearly, this would open up a massive opportunity to serve up ads to new markets, but more significantly, the ads themselves would essentially have a captive audience.
Unlike with banner ads on websites, or even adverts during TV shows – both of which can be easily ignored – while you’re waiting for someone to answer the phone, you’re listening intently to the sounds that are being delivered via your handset. By serving up ads to you while you can’t help but listen, Google may be able to command considerable premiums from brands hoping to deliver their marketing messages in the most effective ways.
Google could choose to work with network operators to implement the new feature, although it may also cut them out entirely by serving up the ads through software baked into its Android OS; the latter option might also make it easier for Google to deliver audio ads on VoIP calls.