How will Google Talk beat Skype?

Make PC-to-phone calls free.

That will surely make Google Talk and first IM of choice by everyone. Will Google be able to offer it free? They have the funding, they have the bandwidth and processing power — so why not? Ahhh yes, they should also earn from it right? How about advertising then? They’re really good at it so I’m sure they’ll be able to think of something creative.

Here’s an idea though. Why not advertise thru voice? Here’s how I think it would work. You have Google Talk on your PC. You call a landline number; while the line is ringing a 30 second voice advert is playing. The same will also happen on the receiver’s end — a 30 second advert will be playing before the two parties can be connected.

On top of that, if the other party may not be able answer after the 30 second waiting time, the caller can leave a message and this is then recorded and emailed to the receiver’s Gmail address for playback later on. It now forces the receiver to signup for Gmail which is ad-supported.

Seems a little bit obtrusive, I know, but it will really depend if advertisers bite it. Last time I heard, Google was doing print advertising so voice adverts might work as well.

Update: Adcalls is doing it for free. What’s the business model? Advertisers pay for the service. The model is exactly how television has been free for all of these years. The screen of the dialer rotates ads while the dialer is displayed. All ads are from businesses inside your local area so you can take advantage of their offers, if you so choose. Why can’t Google do the same?

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  • one way for google to make money is paying short audio ads before the connection rings.

  • good idea. i, for one, wouldn’t mind hearing adverts for a few seconds if in return, I get a phone call to Pinas for free.

  • parang kapag tatawag ka to the Philippines from another country using a phone card, right before the line rings, may advertisement for a certain website… and it’s not even a 30 second ad, i think it was only 3 sentences.

  • However Google ends up earning from Google Talk, I’m sure that they won’t resort to any type of intrusive advertising. They’ve never been known to do “evil” like that, and I hope that they never will. If they ever become some kind of monopolistic force like MS, I wouldn’t mind as long they don’t become “evil”.

  • I think for-pay is OK if they can put up a local node to connect their VoIP network to the PSTN. This way they can charge a reasonable rate. Who knows, they are already negotiating for a slice of trans-Pacific fiber cable.

  • Krakista

    Advertising simply won’t make money for them since calls hopping off to the PSTN (landline or cellphone) have per minute costs. Unless ads butt into your conversation every minute or two.

  • These kind of services will be commodity with good profit potential in the short-run. The real value is in the new kind of services they can offer.

    Since it is XMPP-based (the JABBER protocol), it is easy for Google to to create new applications. Now, there’s the beauty of VoIP versus our Dad’s Telco.


    This also strengthens the position of XMPP in the protocol race dominated by SIP (the clear winner so far) and H323.

  • anon

    if skype would’ve done this, maybe it won’t be unprofitable?