Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Google to Launch a Search Engine for Ringtones

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google works on a search engine for mobile media content that will include ringtones and games.

"With the new system, users would search for a piece of content -- such as ringtones -- and would get back a list of companies that provide it, with links letting them easily purchase the material. (...) The company has been working for months with content providers -- including large entertainment companies and smaller mobile media aggregators -- to index their material and make it available via mobile search. (...) The Internet company has considered including a social-networking component that would let users of Google's Gmail email service exchange content, one person familiar with the initiative said. Google declined to comment."

Google has launched mobile versions for most of its services, including search, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube and it's now testing AdSense for mobile content. But a search engine for ringtones and games could jeopardize Google's partnerships with many carriers that want to keep the customers inside their "walled gardens". There aren't many good services in this space (Mogmo comes to my mind), so Google's search engine will actually fill a void. Until some carriers decide to block it.