Thursday, September 14, 2006
Superdistribution: Socially Selling SongsThe mobile phone and portable music player may soon become the marketers best friend. Wireless networks are enabling portable devices to share music and other media, and the telecoms and media companies see big dollars signs in the possibilities.
Friends can share or lend music with each other, and the files are locked by digital rights management software for limited time use. People have to pay for a key to unlock the files for permanent use, and the friend who shared the music can get credit towards future purchases.
The concept is called superdistribution, and it started in Japan and is spreading to Europe and slowly here.
Nokia and T-Mobile are among the companies participating in the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), which is devising the specifications so that content can be easily shared. Superdistribution is also seen as a mechanism for viral marketing by releasing content with advertising (or advertising that is content) for free.
Imagine if YouTube videos could be easily downloaded and shared between iPods and cell phones. Advertisers would salivate for a five second pre-roll before these viral videos. Google and MTV recently announced a deal for promoting videos that touches on superdistribution.
I came across this from CoreMedia, a DRM firm and OMA member. Kudos to CoreMedia for using a tag cloud on their home page to navigate topics of importance to them.
Microsoft has appropriated the idea with its new Zune music players, which can wirelessly share music to friends, who can listen to the songs for up to three days.
This is social networking taken to its fullest possible monetization, where everyone gets a piece of the action for sharing what they like. It's been slow to develop, but the possibilities are huge.
By John Gartner at 01:40 PM | Comments (1)