UnWired Nation debuts voice communications publishing platform

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UnWired Nation has introduced a voice publishing platform thatálets businesses connect with opt-in mobile users through voice communications.

The service, unveiled at the AlwaysOn Stanford Summit, allows online businesses such as e-commerce services, news and information sites and social networks to reach their users via the telephone. This model lets businesses generate new revenue streams through in-call promotional messages.

"There are about 200 million mobile phone users in the United States but only about 34 percent of those people report ever having used an SMS [text message]," said Indy Gill, CEO of UnWired Nation. "But all of them have used their phones to make calls. It's a modality that everybody is used to and so it is more engaging."

The new platform includes partnerships with RSS firm Pheedo, shipping services firm uShip, real estate search engine Zooven and online fanstasy sports site Benchmark. With the new offering, advertisers can sponsor ads that run when UnWired users call in to access free content from these partners. The ads are distributed over voice-enabled content, notification, or messaging services to their subscribers and are targeted based on the content.

UnWired Nations' first product UnWired Buyer, debuted in September 2005, lets users bid on eBay Auction listings over mobile phones. Since that time the service has placed millions of calls to users, letting bidders away from the computer bid. UnWired Nation has also tested out-bound mobile advertising on many of the calls and found that 14 percent of the users clicked to hear more and 40 percent of these people opened the triggered e-mail that followed and went to the advertiser's Web site.

á"Voice alerts are a great way to create a brand impression and engage consumers," Gill added.á"I don't expect this to replace other marketing channels, just to complement them."

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