Mobile Music: Industry Research

Information Week reports on a study by Strategy Analytics on mobile music downloading.

According to the study (which measured end user reactions to the mobile music store offerings of both Sprint and Verizon), users preferred Sprint’s service in terms of ease-of-use and perceived network performance. But overall, both services were viewed as too expensive.

All the press spinning out from this study seems to concur that mobile music downloads are currently too expensive. I agree, but industry research is never merely research. The research company is not transparent about who funded the study (understandably so, and presumably in the interests of their client), so read this accordingly. Studies such as this are usually performed in the service of clear business objectives. Here, those are, most likely, to galvanize media and tech pundits to expound about how certain companies should lower their prices, or to build a business case to attract investment, or what-have-you. Perhaps an MVNO with a research budget paid for it? I don’t know.

To be clear, though, it doesn’t matter who paid for it; only that someone did, with a business goal in mind. And I’m not trying to criticize this research on the basis of whether its results reflect the truth. I quite agree that mobile music downloads will not take off without being more affordable. We simply didn’t need research to tell us this is the case. So the publication of this study must be a message meant for someone else, and bloggers and other media are expected to jump up and grab the biscuit when it’s tossed, carrying the message to their audiences, bridging that ‘last mile’ to bring the story into our living rooms and offices. Cuz who doesn’t want stuff for cheaper, as some people phrase it?

That’s the “strategic” part of the “analytics”, I suppose.

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