Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"Free" key to driving wireless Web traffic reports "while content providers and carriers are rushing to cash in on mobile data, the industry should look to the computer-focused Internet to find blueprints for business models in wireless." According to the article, some analysts believe that "sponsored content and services will pave the way for uptake of wireless data. Carriers are already subsidizing their services with advertising messages on WAP and mobile Web sites, and many believe marketing dollars will ultimately drive 3G services including mobile video and audio."

M:Metrics' Seamus McAteer thought "free, ad-supported services should be supplemented with premium offerings for users who don't mind paying a few dollars to avoid advertising messages." McAteer predicted that "advertising dollars-not subscription fees or download charges-will ultimately support the mobile Internet."

He said, "In every medium, revenues for advertising trumped revenues for paid content. The advertising market is trillions of dollars; the paid content market is billions of dollars by comparison."

McAteer added, "Obviously, the operators are concerned about being disintermediated. They should definitely not just give away ownership of the customer experience to Google and Yahoo; they have a role to play.... This idea of owing the customer, it's kind of an old idea."