Cell Phone Service Brought to You By…

It seems like advertising can pay for anything nowadays. We have free newspapers, free TV programs, free web services: all in exchange for an inundation of consumerism thrown at us from every angle. A few years ago the idea of a project on the web being able to support bandwidth for hundreds of thousands of 200+ MB each, HD video downloads seemed absurd, but thanks to some well placed advertising from domain registrars and liquor brands, video podcast Diggnation is doing just that.

We’ve even see ad-supported service provider models spring up (but not survive) like NetZero for free Internet access. So what industry might be next to give consumers free service thanks to advertising exposure? Stowe Boyd of /Message suggests it could be the cell phone industry.

In his post Boyd points out that ad-supported cellular content is already on the way in the United States, starting with MySpace as the first major site to offer such a model. Blyk will offer free, ad-supported mobile phone connection in the U.K. Is the U.S. next?

Unlike the U.K., which is currently beyond 100 percent mobile penetration — despite how little sense that makes (are people buying multiple cell contracts for themselves?) — the U.S. stands at 84 percent, says MocoNews. A free cellular provider might be exactly what the cell industry needs to gobble up the last bit of the U.S. population resisting the mobile market.

Google WiFi, free wireless Internet access for residents of Mountain View, Calif., is a good example of what we might see in ad-supported service providers. While Google WiFi doesn’t currently show ads, the model (especially when run by a technology advertising firm) is certainly there. I think we’ll be seeing big things in the next couple years in terms of ad-supported services.

Advertisements

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: