Rating: Callertunez otherwise known as ringtags, ringtagz, calling tones or calling tunes
Working In London, it’s easy to be Euro-centric so it made a pleasant change to chance upon a Nigerian web site operated by MTN. This site is offering its local customers what it describes as Callertunez – although it does also utilise the industry jargon term ‘RingBack Tones’. The MTN site is both vibrant and enticing and a far flung prospect from sites in Europe which attempt to market Ringback tones to European consumers. It also illustrates the point which GoMo News has been labouring – namely that European providers are overpricing their RingBack offerings. A Nigerian RingBack tone costs about 46 pence compared to £1.50 in the UK.RingBack tone supporters will undoubtedly maintain that there is a huge difference between an African economy and a European one. But they would be overlooking another subtle difference.
On the Callertunez site, an individual tone only lasts for 30 days which provides a major incentive for consumers to change their RingBack Tone on a regular basis.
GoMo News suspects that European users baulk at changing their tone on a regular basis so overall unit sales will be lower.
There also seems to be another fundamental difference. With MTN’s service you can download, subscribe, and set your RingBack tone via the web.
But in addition you can also call a shortcode and adjust your RingBack Tone via the IVR system. So you don’t have to rely on the mobile web to update yourself.
It’s worth emphasising this point because – having experimented with setting a RingBack tone on the Orange network, GoMo News has entirely forgotten how to change it.
There’s also a massive problem with consumer education over RingBack Tones. The UK general public, for example, just don’t know what they are.
A classic example of this was an executive from a leading mobile company who kept ending the call to our mobile handset each time the Ringback music started to play – suspecting a fault.
If some-one within the mobile industry itself can’t work out what a RingBack Tone is for – what chance have the general public?
Especially when in the UK the music is still interrupted by the usual ‘bring-bring’ sound to indicate you are still calling your contact. In markets where RingBack Tones are properly established the need for the bring-bring sound disappears.
GoMo News‘ other major criticism of RingBack tone vendors is that they use unclear jargon and can’t agree on a single technical term.
Orange is trying to promote them as ‘ringtagz‘ which is a variant on the alternative – ringtags.
The North Americans understand them as calling tones or calling tunes which is a much more obvious description than RingBack tone.
One side-effect of encountering the MTN site is that we’ve now discovered that Gongo Aso by 9ice is a smash hit in Nigeria. Let’s hope 9ice gets booked for the Womad festival next year!