The telephone-time monetization system Ether officially launches today, after beta testing since March. The company calls its new stage “zeta.” Ether lets you set a price for people who want to call you on the phone. The company provides a phone number, billing services and will also do pay-per-view for documents or other files. A button on your website lets potential callers click for information about your services. All of this for just 15% off the top of what ever you decide to charge callers.
Ether is a service of San Francisco based Ingenio, a company founded in 1999 that says it does 20 million minutes of paid voice commerce transactions each quarter for customers including AOL, Microsoft, YellowPages.com, and the IRS.
Ether seems like a pretty cool model, though concerns are consistently raised about the quality of offerings available. Looking around the site and doing a search for the Ether code in the blogosphere, probably the classiest case of this service put to use so far is by our fellow new web service review blogger, Pete Cashmore. Maybe I’m just saying that because I have a soft spot for new web service review bloggers, though.
See also our previous coverage of Ether when it launched into beta for more info and discussion.