New Business Model: Ad-Based Eavesdropping

Loraine Lawson

Now here's a new and intriguing business model for you: Eavesdropping on Internet phone conversations so you can send the callers context-based advertisements.


According to an Associated Press story in The Washington Post, California-based Puddingmedia began offering a public trial of its software this week. The beta software, called, oddly, ThePudding, allows you to place a free call anywhere in the United States or Canadia from your PC to another PC, but but be aware that Puddingmedia's software will monitor the call for keywords and send advertisements to your browser, based on the words it picks out from your conversation. (You're charged if you call a real phone number.)


I can't help but wonder what Google Adsense would do with the keywords, "Freaking" "Orwellian" and "Big+Brother."


Puddingmedia assures its users that it doesn't store the conversation or monitor particular calls. In other words, it promises no real person will have a clue what you and the other caller are discussing.


Puddingmedia hopes to sell its voice-recognition/ad system to a VoIP provider.

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