Sohu IT, 11/07/07
This month, China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) will introduce an advertising service for color ringback tones (CRBT) on its CDMA service. All numbers that have activated the CRBT service will now play a 7 second advertisement or an announcement from a corporate customer before playing the CRBT. The advertising service is aimed mostly at corporate brands. Advertising fees paid to Unicom will be RMB 15/subscriber/month, RMB 20/subscriber/month or RMB 25/subscriber/month, depending on the credit balance of the phone. Unicom has stated that its CDMA subscribers receive an average of 300-600 calls a month, and based on this figure, the cost of advertising to reach a single subscriber would be RMB 0.04 per call. Currently, Mengniu, Sony Ericsson, Volkswagen and the Antaeus Group have plans to use Unicom's CRBT advertising.
In order to get CRBT subscribers to accept the advertising, Unicom will offer several incentives such as giving subscribers the CRBT service for free (currently it costs RMB 5/month), or giving CRBT subscribers a RMB 0.15 credit for each ad. For subscribers who refuse the advertising service, Unicom will either not play the ads or end the user's CRBT subscription. As early as April this year, Unicom introduced a similar "Super CRBT" service. According to Unicom, this service has been selected by over 8 mln subscribers, most of whom are young and fashion-conscious.