The presentation following me was from a UK mobile operator.
I was curious to see what Operators would think of User generated content (Web 2.0 / Mobile Web 2.0).
Predictably, there was little new in the Mobile operator presentation – other than to acknowledge the threat.
In other words, they (rightly) saw MySpace et al as a threat since the same demographics(youth) will divide their time, money and attention(aka ad exposure) between MySpace and the Mobile phone.
However, the Operator reiterated that ‘media companies could subsidise some of the operator costs and content would be delivered free’.
Frankly, if the likes of Sony and Warner would be interested in subsidising data charges, we would have all had free ‘Lord of the rings’ ringtones by now.
But we don’t!
It’s the old mentality of ‘We don’t want to be a pipe’
The irony is: the dichotomy of a pipe v.s. not a pipe is so Mobile Web 1.0
This led me to think
In a ‘User generated content’ world : what is the problem in being a ‘Pipe’? If you ‘flip’ the idea of a pipe, there is no ‘un pipe’ in a user generated content world.
By that, I mean : In a ‘broadcast content world(conventional media world)’, there is the belief that being merely a ‘pipe’ means that ‘someone else is making all the money’. (I call the ‘other’ money making entity as ‘Un pipe’)
My point is: In a Mobile Web 2.0 (user generated content) world .. there is no ‘Un pipe’
It is just people communicating with each other
The operator, in this case, becomes what they are best at : Enablers of communication rather than playing second fiddle to the Broadcast content industry
So, Why should they worry any more about being a pipe in a Mobile Web 2.0 world??