Ad supported telephony has been a bit of a hot topic in telephony. Jingle Networks plans on ads supporting for Free 411. Virgin launched an ad supported phone service last year. Blyk and ThePudding are two new startups that recently launched their own phone-based ad solutions. Now VOIP provider Jajah is also offering the ad-option to earn free telephony. Eventually, they hope to bring the model to other phone providers as well in an AdSense-like solution.
Jajah is teaming up with advertising network Oridian to let users pay for minutes by listening to targeted advertisements. It’s an opt-in system where users hear and see very targeted advertising content and receive credit in their JAJAH accounts for each message. Ads are targeted based on the phone’s location. For example, “If you own a furniture store that you want to introduce to your local community, your messages will be played to your prospective customers next door”, as founder Roman Scharf explains. The messages will play above the ring tone right before the call starts similar to the example embedded below.
Since Oridian is an international ad network that helps US sites monetize international traffic, I can’t imagine they’ll be focusing on your cross town calls, but rather the long distance international ones a VOIP provider effectively delivers for local calling rates (you still have to pay for minutes from your telco). Jajah says these ads will allow users to earn back their entire phone bill, or even make money too.
To make money back, you’ll have to listen to ads worth more than Jajah’s calling charges. Virgin’s Sugar Mama ad supported option lets users earn a minute for each minute of advertising heard. Jajah’s VOIP network has a significantly lower cost base costing at most three to four cents per minute to users on long distance calls. This makes it more feasible to support through advertising compared to standard phone time earned on Virgin, which may not make them money, but provide an effective rebate for price sensitive users willing to work for it.