Free phone calls in exchange for contextual ads

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

San Jose (CA) – A San Jose-based startup wants to give away free telephone calls in exchange for a digital pound of flesh.  Pudding Media has recently started beta testing it’s free phone service which scans the call for keywords and then displays contextual ads.  Company executives recently spoke to the New York Times and tried to alleviate any privacy concerns.

Anyone can sign up for the beta test by going to thepudding.com and giving up some personal information like email address, gender, age group and the language they speak – English, Spanish, Asian and European languages are list.  Pudding Media also requires your Zip Code because future ads could be specifically target at your local region.

Pudding claims that its users can dial any United States number for free and that it doesn’t keep logs or recordings of the conversations.  The calls are scanned for keywords which then triggers ads on a webpage.  The ads presumably will only arrive while the call is active.

According to the New York Times, Pudding founders Ariel Maislos and his brother Ruben spent several years working for the Israeli military doing intelligence and research and development work.