Owning The Content Is A Disadvantage In Offering A Mobile Service

from the tied-down dept

One of the bad ideas coming out of those who believe that content is king in the mobile world is that new wireless carriers that are content owners will thrive. That’s leading to odd predictions, such as the idea that Time Warner will make a good MVNO just because they have content. Wasn’t that the rationale for AOL’s merger with Time Warner? We all remember how that turned out. The fact that they have content is meaningless. First, no one is buying a mobile phone for the content specifically. However, much more importantly, for the to be value in the content, it has to be equally accessible to everyone. As content companies like Disney, Time Warner and Universal try to launch their own mobile carriers (as MVNOs), people are going to start to wonder why they can only get their Disney content from DisneyMobile. What if they want some Disney content, some Sony content and some Universal Studios content? Will they need to buy three separate phones with three separate plans? The internet works because anyone can access any content no matter who their service provider is. That openness is what makes it worthwhile. Locked up content, walled gardens and exclusivity only serve to decrease the value of each of these services across the board.

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