Blog Post

Broadsheets Tackle Mobile Music Conundrum

David Pogue at the New York Times has written a comprehensive article on Sprint’s new music service in which he says the service is a really great thing, except that it’s far too expensive.
“But Sprint’s pricing is so high, its catalog so small and its ring-tone restriction so silly, it turns out not to be a good test case at all. These clueless corporate decisions will keep customers away in droves, leaving unanswered the question of how popular a reasonably priced cellphone music store might become.”
He points out that Sprint has set the price at the same level as a ringtone (even though you won’t be able to use one of the songs as a ringtone on the phones)…
Despite the fact that “online, the overwhelming reaction to Sprint’s pricing is disgust and sarcasm” there are instances of people commenting that they’re happy to pay the $2.50 for a song. Whether that shows they’ve got more money than sense or rather that they are able and happy to pay a premium for time-saving convenience depends on your point of view, but there is a market. The question is how big that market is and whether it will be enough to satisfy the operators…
The Wall Street Journal is trying to work out why mobile music hasn’t taken off in the US… check out this article for the difference in interest between countries… one suggestion is that it is the lack of capable handsets, but the issue is across the board (games, video etc). “Culturally, mobile phones have become the center for entertainment and information in other countries,” says Emil Morales, an executive at TNS. “In the U.S., the concept hasn’t got there.”
Bathsheba Malsheen, chief executive of Groove Mobile, claims that mobile music doesn’t compete with other music but is more about “what’s hot now”… 90% of sales come from the top 300 hits.
Related stories:
Sprint Music Store Pricing Is Off-Key
Sprint Launches Music Downloads, Local News Service
More on Sprint’s Music Service