Ad Supported Phone Service?

Would you buy ads on a free-phone-call community? eBay’s Meg Whitman is betting you will, according to a Reuters story carried on ZDNet. That idea is part of Whitman’s justification for eBay’s rather expensive purchase of Skype. The company’s also talking pay-per-call merchandising opportunities on its auction service or

Not sure how I feel about ad-supported phone calls. I’ve talked to companies selling these types of ads to subsidize mobile phone service (seemingly caught on better in Scandinavia, if I recall correctly, but this was 1999-ish). I think people calling users would hear audio ads instead of a ringing tone (a variation on the ringback, I guess). You could also potentially imagine visual ads as part of the interface (if it was a desktop app like Skype).

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