Friday, February 18, 2005

Mobile Music...Endless Possibilities And Higher Speed Demand

The more I think about the hot topic at 3SGM Conference, music downloading on the phone, the more I see a deja-vous all over again...And this could be the catalyst for higher wireless speeds.

Back in 99, Internet traffic was exploding at an enormous rate. Was it that so many people were getting on the net? Yes, but what was really driving the traffic was a little company called Napster.

P2P, music downloading was creating this massive increase in Internet traffic. The Junipers, Ciscos were showing massive revenue growth. Projections for this exponential growth were everywhere.

Then they shut Napster down. Instead of harnessing this powerful engine, they shut it off. This stalled the Internet traffic growth and created many underground P2P sites. None of these sites every became as big as Napster.

I'm not saying shutting down Napster caused the Internet bubble to burst, but by stopping creativity instead of harnessing it, it did put a big pause in the Internet boom.

So we have ANOTHER "computer" (mobile phone) that is getting Internet accessiblity and what is the application that is being hailed as the fuel for this downloads.

Will we learn from past mistakes or will we Yogi Berra it.

Nokia, Ericsson, Vodafone and Verizon Wireless have all bet heavily on the consumer wanting to download music to their phones. Selling this music, whether its downnloads or via streaming service could be a huge revenue tool for service providers.

But how does it work? Music labels Sony BMG, EMI and Warner started to make part of their catalogs available for downloading.

What are some other methods?

While a song is being played, phone a number and a service recognizes this song for you.

After a song is played on radio station, the DJ says "text xxxx" to download a copy of this song.

Click on a barcode of ANY CD ANYWHERE and the titles come up, click on the specific one you want to download. How does a music store prevent this? Or do they offer it as a service too?

American TOP 40 can provide a service, that by sending a text to AT25, the 25th song in the countdown gets downloaded.

Satellite radio providers on their display can show a specific code and mobile users can text to download.

What if Virgin Music offered an unlimited monthly download service if your signed up with their wireless service?

Could other service providers join forces with record labels? Could ITunes hook up with a service provider?


Anonymous said...

If the 3G networks ever get built and become reliable, don't you think that downloading video could offer as much promise to the carriers as music. Off the top of my head,I can see a carrier working a deal with Seinfeld and offering 5 minute clips of the funniest episodes. What about the old Saturday Night Live episodes....there are endless possiblities. -Walden-

Scott Shaffer said...

Youre referring to MMS, or as the carriers are calling it Mobile TV. I see some applications that could apply but music downloading offers much more frequency..hence demand for bandwidth.

Think of how many songs an Ipod holds versus videos you have at home.
You need to think of how frequent downloading would occur AND how much advertising needs occur to create demand.
Turn on any radio and you have your source of downloadable possibilities. With an MMS, you need the advertiser to create a campaign to get you to click on a CD or code to initiate the download.

Ease of use and frequency will create the demand. Music downloading is the killer ap for now.