What I Learned About The Product Cycle From… Ringback Tones
Thoughts from a guy who used to sell them (but didn’t read one book about marketing and products)
A few years ago, I worked for one of the largest recording companies in the world, Universal Music Group, in their offices in Jakarta. I joined in 2004 after little over a year at Soundbuzz, itself an early player in the digital music industry, to help UMG establish a digital business in Indonesia. My title was something along the lines of ‘New Media & Mobile’. I guess it was still new back then, and mobile was basically about selling monophonic ringtones.
I joined Universal at an opportune time — it was around the moment when Telkomsel was starting an odd service called ringback tones. How it works is that the call tune — the sound you hear while your waiting for the person you call to pick up — is replaced with a 30-second snippet of a song. Fresh off running a ringtone production division for Soundbuzz, it still took me a while to digest what the product actually is, because at that time the service wasn’t up.
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