Incredibly, the cost of downloading a full-length digital song from an
off-portal mobile site can cost users anything from practically nothing
to $15.00 in data charges, depending on their operator and mobile data
But if the user chooses to buy the song from their operator’s mobile portal instead, then the data charges are usually waived.
With the cards stacked so heavily against them, most brands that want
to sell music downloads directly to mobile users are unable to do so,
at least not if they want to make money. Accordingly, this report is
focussed on identifying solutions to this problem.
The report begins by reviewing the four market forces that are driving
brands towards the delivery of rich media content using a D2C strategy.
We explain what’s in it for brands and their customers.
Next, the report explains the three categories of D2C mobile music
service and provides a detailed description of an example service
within each one. Current market rates for mobile data in Germany, the
UK and the U.S. are used to illustrate the adverse impact that mobile
data charges would have on these services.
The report then analyses the relative merits of the two potential
solutions to this problem by looking at the pros and cons from the
perspective of mobile operators, service providers, third parties and
users. A recent implementation of an off-portal mobile music download
service is outlined that is based on wholesale data and is currently in
a trial phase.
As the axis of the D2C market, the mobile operator’s position is
studied by reviewing the changing business strategies of mobile
operators generally, together with several recent market trends which
extend well outside the music area.