In-Call Media – Sensing Relevance and Context

From Alec Saunders of Iotum:

"Pudding Media is a company that continues to court controversy.  Their proposition is pretty simple — they want to provide contextually targeted advertisements during telephone calls, much the same way that Google does during web searches, and while using email.  According to founder Ariel Maislos, they can increase the effectiveness of these advertisements by an order of magnitude with this simple step.  Their objective is to enable heavily subsidized conversations.  The controversy?  Their system picks keywords out of the speech stream in order to do so.  It listens in on the conversation.

This week Pudding announced an agreement with Meebo to voice enable the Meebo client, and to add their unique advertising capability.  Under the terms of the agreement, Pudding will supply a flash based VoIP client to Meebo, as well as run the voice service on their behalf.  This agreement is a little unusual in that ordinarily Pudding wouldn’t provide the voice services directly, but Maislos sees this as the beginning of a partner program where they can start to bring in other voice service providers who also want to deliver subsidized communications. "

I agree with Alec that "in-call" contextual advertising is just a matter of time as more and more service providers look to monetize or subsidize the "connection" they provide.  Monitoring (not necessarily recording…although this could be a user opt-in feature) of real-time conversation flow to drive contextually relevant media to the user(s) will emerge as an accepted communication services model.

This is just the beginning.

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