MySpace’s mobile ambitions are moving across the pond and landing on Vodafone cell phones. The deal makes sense to the companies — Vodafone has been trying to boost its mobile data revenues, and MySpace needs a strong partner to get traction in Europe.
The MySpace application for Vodafone will be similar to the one used by Cingular “with a few specifics at the back end to fit the network’s requirements,” says a MySpace spokesperson. I’ve been playing around with the Cingular MySpace app for a few months, and despite the fact that I really don’t want to pay $2.99 per month to use it, the application itself is pretty rich.
Vodafone didn’t disclose the pricing of its MySpace service, but the companies gave some details, like it will be available first in the U.K., pre-loaded on some Vodafone handsets and will also be available for download from Vodafone live. Maybe Vodafone will be smart and make it free, which could be a good way to boost data usage.
If you hate paying for Internet services that are free on your PC but cost on your phone, like I do, you should check out VCEL, a free service that has a MySpace mobile java application and a WAP site. I chatted over email recently with VCEL creater Sergey Lossev, a student on leave from UC Santa Barbara, whose MySpace page says he’s 21.
Lossev doesn’t think consumers should have to pay for MySpace mobile either, and had some smart stuff to say about the difficult value chain for mobile content:
We disagree with the current MNO/OEM/app provider value chain that results in Carriers dictating/choking innovation by the little guys, and always ends up premium charging the end user. Since day one we set out to prove that other bus[inesss] models are possible, models where needed services are free to the end users and supported by mobile ads (we are the internet generation kids that grew up with ads all over the internet for as long as we can remember).
Amen. All VCEL needs is a little more design work and some promotion to bring in users. The options aren’t as slick as the application for Cingular and soon Vodafone — but how can you pass up free?