The more I think about this court case, the more I realize how big this could really be.
The court case and implications I refer to are here.
The case involves Virgin scanning barcodes in their MegaStores (retail music stores).
If I'm Virgin Entertainment and I'm thinking outside the box a little here, this could be a pivotal point for both my Music and my Mobile divisions.
Regardless of the outcome of the suit, I could see how a growing service provider like Virgin Mobile could use this application to create a marketing bonanza.
Imagine if the ability to scan a barcode on a CD inside a Virgin Mega Store could be broadened to include scanning a barcode ANYWHERE. Would you in a sense be turning every CD into a Virgin MegaStore showroom?
We all know the music retail industry is dying and is having to come up more creative ways to stimulate sales. One of the newest features is to wave a CD under a barcode scanner and lit the songs, and play snippets of each one. This is a great idea. However they are being sued for this ability.
Take it a couple steps further. Imagine if Virgin Mobile incoporates this barcode reading ability on a Nokia, Samsung phone and offers an unlimited fee to download any song just by reading a CD barcode?
Would the 18-35 yr old generation, the most coveted by advertisers, flock to this service provider?
Would Virgin Mobile show an increase in ARPU (avg revenue per user)?
Would other music retailers be nervous?
By incorporating this scanning ability on a cellphone, you could make your Virgin Megastore borderless.
Have MTV or VH1 joint market this and really launch it.
Take a negative situation and turn it into a monster marketing campaign.
The biggest topic right now for service providers to increase data revenues is downloading music to the phone.
If you offer the ability to read any barcode on a CD anywhere, you have just created a product that is in demand, and will increase SP's ARPU as well.
Now that theres the Local Number Portability in place (take your cellphone number with you), what kid wouldn't switch to Virgin Mobile just for this ability.
Richard Branson thinks outside the box, think he has thought of this?