FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Will Mobile On-Demand Do What Napster Couldn't?

The MocoNews blog has several posts that point to alternate revenue streams for content creators, including musicians. As mobile handsets become more sophisticated, they may become the major conduits for entertainment content. Listeners, for instance, could download music and video clips, and pay via SMS. Or, they could point their devices to sites such as Roomobile.com and download content, some of it for free. Readers can even download books to their mobile devices (assuming they can read very small type).

Trends like this are important for two reasons. First, the high-functioning mobile devices simplifies the content acquisition process for the consumer. Instead of having to hook up an MP3 player to a PC, a consumer can connect his or her mobile device directly to the source. Second, sites that can accept payment directly from mobile phones and other devices allow content creators to receive payment for their work, while disintermediating all the middlemen that drive up music, video and publishing costs. This comes at a time when consumer groups are pushing back against the music industry and Hollywood for their inflated prices and crackdowns on P2P networks.

Sources: CNET, unmediated