RealNetworks has acquired Muzicall, a 9-year-old London company that specializes in ringback tones. The company will be integrated with Real’s mobile entertainment division, which works with carriers to manage 18 million ringback tone subscribers.
Ringback tones replace the traditional ring that a caller hears before their phone call is answered. They typically consist of music, but also can include movie clips or advertising.
Muzicall’s technology allows customers to establish different ringback tones for different callers.
“Muzicall has done a great job of pioneering direct-to-consumer marketing of RBT (ringback tone) in partnership with carriers across Europe,” said Max Pellegrini, President of RealNetworks’ Mobile Entertainment division. “We think that combining Muzicall with our very large RBT global footprint and leading technology will strengthen our RBT business and accelerate our program to reinvent and reinvigorate RBT.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Muzicall — backed by BlueRun Ventures, Thule, ORKOS, Veddis Ventures, GP Bullhound and Ventech — has carrier deals with Virgin Mobile in the United Kingdom, Optimus in Portugal and Swisscom and Orange in Switzerland.