New service embeds targeted ads in phone calls

Israeli startup offers free Skype-type calls with embedded advertising

A start-up company is launching a new service called The Pudding that will offer free international phone calls to people willing to have targeted advertisements embedded in them.

The start-up, Pudding Media, was cofounded by Israeli entrepeneur Ariel Maislos, who recently sold a broadband company, Passave, to PMC-Sierra for US$300 million.

The service works in a similar way to Skype, offering free phone calls over the Internet. But while Internet-based services charge a fee for calls made to fixed-line telephones, Pudding users will pay for those calls by watching commercials that will be displayed on their computer screens.

Voice-recognition software listens to the users' conversations and plays advertisements related to the things they talk about. If the name of a new movie comes up, for example, the service will play an advertisement related to that movie.

"Our product will enable smart placement of advertisements for various audio services," Maislos said. "We are already capable of analysing conversations in English and we can place the relevant commercials. Soon we will be able to offer our services to Asian and other non-English speaking markets as well."

Maislos founded Pudding Media with brother Reuven and Eran Arbel, who previously handled North American sales for Amdocs. BRM and Opus are among the venture capitalists that invested in the company, together with some private Israeli investors. In charge of business development is Eyal Keren, formerly business development manager at A9, the search project by Amazon.com.

According to Maislos, Pudding plans to serve the global communication market. "There are billions of phone calls being made every minute, so we are building ourselves to be a very big company," he said. "We hope to be the ones supplying the infrastructure once the entire world shifts to an advertisement-based model [for phone calls]."

The development manager at the company's R&D center in Kfar-Saba, Israel, is Israel Ziv, who was development manager of Shopping.com. Under his management, Pudding was able to put together an extraordinary group of speech recognition specialists.

"Pudding already has 25 developers," says Maislos. "Three of them even come from an elite high-tech army unit."

Pudding plans to allow users who register for a beta program to test the service. The service will be available initially to English speakers only.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Raphael Fogel

TheMarker.com
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?