February 14, 2007

The Ad-Free Cellphone May Soon Be Extinct

14adco190.jpg Ads are coming on your cell phone, according to The New York Times

"Already, ads are creeping onto cellphones around the globe. At this rate, experts say, it will not be long before the 2.2 billion mobile phone users around the world consider it natural to tune into a 15-second spot before watching a video, sending a message or listening to a downloaded song between phone conversations.

Or so they hope.

... The very nature of the mobile phone gives operators information about their customers that Internet and television advertisers can only dream of having.

Carriers know not just where their clients live, but where they are at the moment the ad is seen, how much they spend on phone services, whom they call and when, their age and sex, what games and music they play on their phones and how to bill them.

People in the industry say they know that the personalized nature of cellphones is a double-edged sword: it is what makes the medium appealing to advertisers, but many people consider the medium too personal to be invaded by outside interests."

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