Advanced Ringtone Format Creates Dynamic Conversations Between Callers - Before the Phone Gets Answered - Flipping the Script on Personalization and Storefronts

2007-04-19 11:09 786

MONTE CARLO, Monaco, April 19 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Major music, media and technology investment companies invest in evolutionary media-telephony venture to significantly increase the value of the mobile music market. The D. E. Shaw group, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Warner Music Group and prominent media and telephony angel investors have invested $7.7 million in Emotive Communications, Inc., a media technology and services provider that has developed a real-time interactive ringtone format for 3G, 4G and VoIP services.

Emotive’s flagship product, the patent-pending "Push Ringer", reverses the common ringtone model. It enables a caller to push an outgoing ringtone to the receiving phone allowing the caller, not the called person, to set the tone. The chosen Ringer is transmitted to the recipient’s handset and temporarily overrides the phone’s pre-set ringer. The ringers can comprise audio, video, animations, avatars or flash files. Closing the loop, if the called person likes the ringtone, the service also enables him or her to instantly buy a copy of the ringtone for his or her own phone. Emotive’s Push Ringer moves beyond traditional mobile personalization by both adding value to the ringtones users purchase for their own phones and providing content recommendation and impulse-purchase opportunities to the users’ friends, family and coworkers. This new technology represents a vastly more active, expressive and compelling form of call personalization than exists in today’s ringtone market which is otherwise showing signs of leveling off at only about 6% of mobile subscribers, worldwide, The Push Ringer leverages rapidly emerging broadband wireless telephone and wire-line VOIP networks.

The product has already gained significant traction with consumers. Since its launch on Skype’s VOIP network in 2006, Push Ringer (known to Skype users as "Ringjacker") has been installed more than 800,000 times and is demonstrating significant peer to peer pass-along rates. Emotive is unveiling its mobile prototype of the Push Ringer at the IMS World Forum in Monaco on April 24th 2007.

"Our Push Ringer brings a new level of real-time interactive multimedia enhancement to telecommunications," said Emotive CEO Anthony Stonefield. "Consumers are influenced by their peers. We are creating the ultimate ‘word of mouth’ network, literally by inserting music and video into the initiation of a phone call."

"Emotive Communications represents the arrival of ‘social’ sampling and distribution of ringtones and other media using mobile devices, a phenomenon of potentially great import for both content companies and consumers," said Richard Sarnoff, President of Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments.

"We think that the widespread emergence of IP telecoms is opening new fields of innovation," said Andre Turenne, a senior vice president at the D. E. Shaw group. "In our opinion, Emotive is a key innovator at the point of convergence between multimedia and network communications."

"Emotive Communications has created a product that further advances mobile social networking. We view our work with Emotive as an extension of our product innovation efforts in the digital music space," said Alex Zubillaga, executive vice president of Digital Strategy and Business Development, Warner Music Group.

About Emotive Communications

Emotive is an entertainment focused innovation company that provides real-time interactive multimedia products and services to network operators and service providers (3/4G mobile and broadband) worldwide. The company’s "Push Ringer" product introduces active social media networking to the network communications industries by deploying a ring-forward tone for fast IP networks. Emotive was founded by the original management of Moviso (acquired by InfoSpace) who are responsible for creating and leading the mobile ringtone market and architecting the mobile content business and wireless copyright exploitation models in North America. Emotive is a privately held company based in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit:

About The D. E. Shaw Group

The D. E. Shaw group is a global investment and technology development firm. Since its organization in 1988, the firm has earned an international reputation for financial innovation, technological leadership, and an extraordinarily distinguished staff. The D. E. Shaw group encompasses a number of closely related entities with more than 1,000 employees, approximately $29 billion in aggregate investment capital, and offices in New York, London, Silicon Valley, Houston, Kansas City, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Bermuda, and Hyderabad and Gurgaon, India.

About Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI)

Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) is a strategic venture investor focused on innovative digital media technologies, products and distribution channels across the globe. BDMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG, one of the largest media and entertainment companies in the world with over $25 billion in revenues. With more than 600 individual companies, Bertelsmann AG has significant interests in all areas of media including television, music, books, magazines, direct marketing and media services. For more information, visit:

About Warner Music Group

Warner Music Group became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Asylum, Atlantic, Bad Boy, Cordless, East West, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Rykodisc, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire, operates through numerous international affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world’s leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide.

Source: Emotive Communications, Inc.