Kids Have Discovered Music Swapping Via Mobile Phones
from the took-'em-long-enough dept
Sometimes it just takes a little longer for the delusions of the entertainment industry to be proven incorrect. Three and a half years ago, just as the mobile music market was taking off thanks to ringtones, a few of us were suggesting it wouldn’t last. What makes mobile content any different than other content? The economics of the content are the same, and it seemed like only a matter of time until mobile content had its “Napster moment” where the industry realized that people were sharing content left and right without paying for it. Amazingly, perhaps what’s slowed this process down was the fantastic incompetence of the mobile operators, who continue to try to lock everything down, despite it slowing the growth of the mobile data market drastically. There were signs of cracks in the mobile content market last year, and earlier this year there were loud complaints that mobile content was way too expensive.
All of that, of course, was simply preamble for the obvious next result, which came out in a study today making it clear that kids like using their mobile phones to share content. Many kids are sharing music via mobile phones using Bluetooth, and nearly half of those who aren’t already say they’d like to do so. As more kids get more advanced mobile phones, it’s likely all of the numbers will go up — and yet the recording industry still doesn’t seem to have much of a plan other than to hope they can keep convincing people to pay big bucks for ringtones (a market that will get killed as kids get better and better at putting songs on their handsets for free). The article about the report trots out all the expected lines about how the industry needs to stop this now, while it’s still small. Of course, that didn’t work very well on the greater internet, and it seems unlikely to be very successful on mobile phones either. At what point does the recording industry realize that perhaps it’s time to put in place a different strategy?