System Delivers Audio Ads to Wireless Devices

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Savos Inc., New York, has announced its flagship product, which enables the marketing of commercial audio content to wireless users.

The product does not require wireless listeners to use an audio player. Instead, they dial into a local phone number to hook up to a network of content providers that have signed deals with Savos.

Furthermore, users can customize lists of audio channels in a manner similar to radio listeners programming stations on their car radios.

The service is aimed at advertisers and radio stations that might have a natural interest in targeting the wireless demographic. Wireless users in the United States so far have consisted of business professionals looking for real-time updates on stocks and sporting events, Savos said.

This demographic allows a company marketing its online stock trading service, for example, to place an audio ad for special commission rates. Listeners can respond to the ad by hitting a button on their cell phones or personal digital assistants that will either activate an e-mail with instructions on where to get the offer or enlist a phone call from a sales representative.

Content providers, according to the firm, will be able to enhance their revenue from the sale of audio ads. The British Broadcasting Corp., Wall Street Reporter and are examples of the dozens of radio-oriented firms that have signed content distribution deals with Savos.

Savos' MediaCrossBar technology provides the infrastructure for the system, which does not have a product name yet. The product is available for licensing and varies in price according to each order.

Savos launched the product in Asia and Europe, where wireless users are ahead of their American counterparts in numbers and applications.

Music marketers in those regions are employing mobile commerce to convert offerings of free wireless music samples into CD sales, said Sanford Cohen, CEO of Savos.

Cohen said his company is talking to telecommunications carriers about launching an m-commerce initiative sometime in 2001, which will enable his firm to target music marketers, among other businesses.

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