Interview with Phonezoo

December 3, 2006 at 4:56 pm 131 comments

Below is an interview with Phonezoo. We hope you find the interview informative and useful. Please visit their website and check it out!

TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?

Phonezoo: Phonezoo is helping mobile enthusiasts to easily create, find and share personalized ringtones for free. Phonezoo’s technology combines user-generated content and the power of the community to give the mobile generation a fun, innovative way to customize their mobile phones. The company provides consumers with an easy-to-use service that enables them to turn their existing audio libraries into personalized ringtones they can share with friends and family.

It a nutshell, Phonezoo addresses key pain points for ringtone users: it’s free, it’s easy and it provides safe storage for your favorite ringtones when switching phones.


TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?

Phonezoo: The biggest differentiator is that Phonezoo is completely free to consumers. Until now, consumers had to pay an average of $2.50 per ringtone and options were limited to the audio segments prepackaged and sold by wireless carriers or the pay-per-ringtone services. Phonezoo built this service with the belief that consumers should be able to create personalized ringtones from their existing music libraries and place shift them to whatever mobile device they want to play it on. Phonezoo doesn’t charge for ringtones; there is no conversion software purchase required, and no hidden fees. With Phonezoo consumers use the existing music and audio files in their own library, or files that are publicly available on the Internet, so there are no charges and no copyright issues.

In addition, the community aspect is a very important differentiator; the idea that you can see the ringtones your friends have made, rate them and comment on them differentiate us from other for-pay websites and software solutions.

TechAddress: What are some of the main features?

Phonezoo: Phonezoo offers a community destination comprised of a collection of user-generated ringtones, a service for creating personalized ringtones, and the technology to transfer those ringtones to your mobile device. Phonezoo also offers community based features that allow users to interact with each other and to share the ringtones they have created.

TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?

Phonezoo: All mobile enthusiasts are potential customers, however, the 18–24 year old demographic is our sweet spot. We have completed our own research and have found that when cost is not a barrier, this demographic is interested in creating multiple ringtones for every contact in their address book. Phonezoo’s consumer research shows there is tremendous enthusiasm for free custom ringtones and if ringtones were free, as they are on Phonezoo; 60% would change ringtones daily/weekly, 91% would change at least monthly and 52% would want 6 or more at a time.

At Phonezoo, we understand our target audience and believe that for them a ringtone is a form of self-expression; since everyone hears their ringtones, it says something about them. So the idea of getting new, custom ringtones meets a big consumer need.

TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?

Phonezoo: We are working on offering new holiday ringtones on the site for easy download, and on a MySpace widget so users can add their favorite ringtone to their MySpace page.

TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?

Phonezoo: We continue to add to the service to ensure we are meeting the changing demands of the mobile generation. We have the technology to grow the service beyond ringtones to video ringtones, wallpapers, games etc. We will continue to add features to enhance community and content sharing – not just more content types, but also ways to make the community aspects of the site more interesting and useful.

Also, we’ll be adding support for additional carriers, both in the US and abroad. We have seen a fair amount of interest from people in other countries, and are working to support them.

TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?

Phonezoo: We haven’t had any negative feedback per se, however the issue of copyright protection has been raised. Our response is that we respect copyrights; a user who sends song to their own phone is fair use. We have designed the service in a way that requires others to upload copyrighted material before sending to their phone in order to prove that they already own this material. We rely on the judgment of the users, and are also working to implement technology to help us protect copyrights even further.

TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?

Phonezoo: Make it free, make it easy, make it fun for consumers.

TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?

Phonezoo: Same as above, really. Our mission is to make creating and sharing mobile content fun and free.

With Phonezoo, consumers can compose unique ringtones from any segment of any song or audio file they own and they can create completely new and different ringtones from any sound source. Phonezoo’s simple process for creating personalized ringtones makes it quick and easy for users to create ringtones and get them to their phone. Phonezoo has built a service that gives users the ability to tap into the collective creative power of the Phonezoo community to find highly-rated, unique ringtones. Users can share their creations with friends, family and other Phonezoo community members.

TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?

Phonezoo: We secured our A round earlier this year and are in the process of securing our B round.

TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date? If you have already launched, when was your launch date?

Phonezoo: Phonezoo launched on November 15.




Entry filed under: Audio, business, cell phones, entertainment, free, Interactive, internet, mobile, mobile phones, online, online business, online community, personalized ringtones, phone, startup, startups, tech, Technology, web, web 2.0, Web 2.0 technologies.

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    David – sounds like a great idea – I will ping you or you can reach me at Phonezoo, Rgds, Manish Vaidya, Founder & VP,

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