Forget The Carriers, Sell Faceplates With Content

Last year we wrote a whole report about how difficult it is to partner with the wireless carriers if that’s your business model. More and more companies are looking for ways to avoid having to deal with carriers altogether. Rafe Needleman’s latest column talks about Wildseed’s endrun around the carriers. Most consumers (especially younger consumers) don’t want to think about which carrier they need to get their service from in order to get access to which content. Instead, they think about how cool their phone looks. Wildseed is selling fancy faceplates for mobile phones – that include a smartchip with content, completely going around the carrier tollbooth. They’re looking to partner with big branded players like Disney to offer their faceplates. It’s sort of a poor man’s MVNO. The branding company just gets to put their branding and content onto the phone. Who knows if it will catch on (especially questionable when targeting younger consumers – though, we recently mentioned that Wildseed spent a lot of time shadowing kids to find out what they would be interested in), but it is certainly a different and intriguing strategy.

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