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 growth..music 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?