Sprint's making headlines this morning by announcing the first US over-the-air mobile music download service. Apparently the company's target market is impatient rich people that can't wait to get home to download something, as songs will cost $2.50 per track. What is it about mobile download services that make operators think they can charge two and a half times the going rate for regular online downloads? Oh, well, it's dual-delivery, they say, meaning users will get the songs both on their phone and on their computer. Awesome -- so not only does their copy protection make things more difficult, it's used to justify a higher price, too. Here's where everybody's insistence on copy protection really becomes a problem: users won't want to buy new devices that can't play music they already own, and they won't abandon existing cheaper services (and music players they already own) just to be able to buy music through their phone when it costs so much more. Sure, device convergence is nice, but asking users to pay a $1.50 per song premium to carry around one less device really isn't the right way to go about it.
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