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8/24/09

Local Business Feature: Check out BONGOTONES.com

MOTORCITYBLOG is a supporter of Michigan business
MCB Interview with Nareg Sagherian
of BongoTones.com: The Free Ringtone Hub
“Tell us a little about BongoTones and the history of the Web site.”
www.BongoTones.com began in September 2007 as the brainchild of three diverse friends from Detroit and Toronto, with even more diverse tastes in music. However, we all shared a passion for technology that established the foundation for BongoTones.com. We had two goals in mind – to be the best way to get content to users’ mobile phones and to provide an avenue for artists who want to build awareness and have their voice heard in the mobile arena. In view of the fact that the Web 2.0 concept of creativity and enhancement had just launched, it created a perfect opportunity for us to launch a product that would change the way users utilized the World Wide Web. After months of research and hard work, we unveiled an easy-to-use platform that provided superior search and delivery of our user-generated content.

BongoTones.com is a Detroit-based, global mobile entertainment Web site that redefines the way mobile phone users gain access to mobile multimedia through our custom applications. BongoTones.com allows users a forum to upload, customize and create free mobile multimedia (ringtones). These applications allow users to upload their own personal music and create their ringtones in whatever fashion they desire. Also, we have an extensive user-generated database of over 16,000 free ringtones that users can automatically send to their mobile phones. Furthermore, BongoTones.com has created a social network dynamic that establishes a community of users from over 150 countries that have the same interests. In essence, the Web site saves the users both time and money when it comes to creating multimedia for their phones, as well as allowing them to enjoy their visit through interaction with others. Moreover, BongoTones.com has established a highly-anticipated artist sign up page, allowing musicians and bands the opportunity to convert their original music into ringtones in minutes, making them instantly available to fans.

Currently, the Web site allows access to free ringtones, but our R&D team is in the process of launching applications that will allow users to customize and create their own free mobile wallpapers, games and videos. Basically, BongoTones.com is a simple and easy way to access free mobile content through the Internet and deliver them to your mobile phone. With an extensive user-generated database of mobile multimedia, we seek to simplify the tedious task of enhancing one’s mobile phone while also connecting individuals together.

“Is everything on BongoTones really free?”
Yes, all of the user-generated mobile content on Bongotones.com is completely free. Moreover, the signup process on BongoTones.com is absolutely free. All a user needs is a mobile phone and the ability to receive mobile messages (text/email). Yes, we are really that nice!

“How is BongoTones better than other ringtone websites?”
BongoTones.com is saving users both time and money when it comes to creating/accessing multimedia for their phones, along with allowing them a forum to interact with other users with similar interests. Furthermore, we believe our Web site is more professional, user-friendly and allows for increased options to satisfy a user’s needs. Apart from uploading, customizing and creating mobile content, a user can share, embed and favorite any content on BongoTones.com. Also, we allow users to message each other and subscribe to their favorite users’ pages, in order to receive updates. Finally, if a user hears a ringtone on a certain song profile page and decides they want the complete version, we can quickly connect them with Amazon.com in order to make their desired purchase.

“How long will BongoTones ringtones last on my phone?”
Unlike ringtones you purchase through your carrier or other Web sites, mobile content accessed through Bongotones.com has no set usage time period. The content remains on your phone for as long as you desire. Once again, we are really that nice!

“Which carriers/phones aren't compatible with BongoTones?”
From the testing our R&D team has conducted thus far, there is no carrier that is 100% non-compatible with Bongotones.com. Since technology is constantly changing, we routinely update our delivery service in order to make it a quick and smooth process for our users. This is because at BongoTones.com we believe if you are not at the forefront of technology, you are getting left behind.

“How can BongoTones be used by independent music artists?”
With our highly anticipated artist sign up page, BongoTones.com is allowing musicians and bands to create a personal profile page for any current and future fans. BongoTones.com lets artists convert their original music into ringtones in minutes, making them instantly available to fans. But that’s just the beginning. BongoTones.com gives artists a bunch of great tools to promote their content, including the ability to cross promote their own website. We are also in the process of providing artists the capacity to build awareness on upcoming events (CD releases, tour dates, etc.), convert fans on our site to Twitter followers, MySpace fans, Facebook fans and further market themselves via feature stories and interviews on our home page. Our R&D department is also in the process of creating custom applications for free wallpapers, videos, and games that users can send to their phones. Thus, artists will be able to further promote themselves by having users upload their CD designs, music videos, etc. to their mobile phones. Clearly, having a BongoTones.com artist profile page is a vital asset for the music industry and will hopefully be established as the norm.

“What are some challenges BongoTones is currently facing?”
The standard challenges, such as trying to build the infrastructure to success over the last six months, which is always a challenge when you don’t have a lot of people. I think people and money make the difference in the company. So at the very beginning stages, I don’t think they’re woes, I think they are just part of the start-up experience. The biggest technology challenge has been to keep up with the Internet because technology changes so rapidly. Thus, if you are not at the forefront of technology, you are getting left behind.
“What advice would you give others that are currently
or want to be involved in an Internet startup?”
The most important advice we can provide others that are currently or want to be involved in an Internet startup is that a Web site idea is only as good as the hard work you are willing to put into it in order to make it succeed. You might not know everything about the Internet or the industry you are trying to enter, but that should not discourage you. Simply surrounding yourself with committed individuals that fill in your weaknesses will go a long way to future success.

The BongoTones.com Team:
David Pakhchanian, Co-FounderDavid has been a serial entrepreneur since the day he was born. David has been involved in the growth of numerous businesses for the past decade with expertise in marketing strategies and promotions. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Michigan. Also, an accomplished real estate analyst, David applies the same intensity and passion to BongoTones.com.

Nareg Sagherian, Co-FounderNareg brings over eight years of analytical and consulting experience to the BongoTones.com team. As an avid stock analyst, he has garnered praise for his keen sense in the business and medical fields. He earned two Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Biopsychology as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in AAPTIS from the University of Michigan. Also, he holds a Master of Science degree in Medical Sciences from Wayne State University. In his spare time, Nareg is a well-respected pianist and triathlete who brings excitement and determination to BongoTones.com.
Soheil Banifatemi, Co-Founder
Soheil is the glue that keeps the BongoTones.com team together. With extensive knowledge in all technical aspects he oversees the creation of industry-specific technologies. Previously, he was a Senior Program Analyst for I-Connect where he saw the development of new features for their Content/Network Management Servers. He has also worked as a Senior Internet Analyst for Royal Bank of Canada where he was involved in network security and implementation. As an industry innovator for over 5 years he holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.
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