“Hello, and welcome to Moviefone.”
Chances are you’ve probably heard those words before, read by the distinct Mr. Moviefone voice. Some 40 million calls a year are placed to Moviefone to find movie show times and access ticket information. Starting today, the service is partnering up with mobile advertising company Apptera, to monetize those calls
Moviefone, which is owned by AOL, will begin to play targeted in-call advertisements using Apptera’s contextual ad-serving technology. For example, “Someone who calls for tickets to a G-rated movie could be served an ad from a nearby restaurant offering free dessert for the kids after the show,” Randy Haldeman, Apptera’s chief marketing officer says in the release.
To prepare for these new ads, Moviefone will be getting a revamped speech-based interface this fall. Not to worry though, the signature Mr. Moviefone voice will remain.
Targeted ads are big business. Just ask Google, which makes billions of dollars off of contextual advertising. The idea is that users will actually find ads useful if they’re relevant. Whether or not people will think the same after having to listen to them — as will be the case on the Moviefone ads — is another question.
Apptera raised $9.74 million of a $14.74 million around back in June of 2007.