Cell Phones: The Ads Are Coming

The New York Times has a rundown of the future of cell phone advertising, and it seems pretty bleak:

    Cellular phone carriers like Verizon, Sprint and Cingular, now the new AT&T, are beginning to test and roll out advertising on mobile phone screens, and by next year, cellphone advertising is likely to be more common.

    In exchange, the companies say, their subscribers will enjoy improved mobile Internet services and content provided free or at reduced prices. Other companies like Virgin Mobile USA and Amp’d Mobile are taking the idea a step further, rewarding customers for viewing ads by lowering their cellphone bills.

The Times remains in good spirits, but the thought of ads on our cellphone makes us want to curl up into a ball and cry, “free content” or no.—MEGHANN MARCO

Madison Avenue Calling [New York Times]

Comments

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  1. “improved mobile Internet services and content provided free or at reduced prices” – in other words, unquantifiable benefits… while the phone companies get easily quantifiable benefits – $$$.

  2. spin_sycle says:

    If I watch ads, I should get stuff for free. What’s the point otherwise, how do I benenfit from it?

  3. Dustbunny says:

    Meh. This doesn’t sound so bad since you have to opt in to see ads. I’d rather pay more and not see any advertising.

  4. WindowSeat says:

    So if I watch the ads on teevee, my cable bill will go down? If Verizon doesn’t have an opt-out option, I’m cancelling.

  5. mrmysterious says:

    This will fail just like the free internet providers failed and free computers failed. If consumers really want a technology (ie cellular based internet) they are going to pay for it and not want to put up with advertisements.

  6. weave says:

    I never understood the entire business model of “give away something for free in exchange for watching ads.” The type of consumer who is most likely to engage this kind of offer are the ones who are really strapped for cash and unlikely to actually buy stuff that is advertised.

  7. CaptainRoin says:

    WindowSeat says:
    So if I watch the ads on teevee, my cable bill will go down? If Verizon doesn’t have an opt-out option, I’m cancelling.

    Ditto!

  8. non-meat-stick says:

    insert puking smiley

  9. BareFeet says:

    This’ll work for a little while, and then eventually it’ll switch up on us: watching ads on your cell phone will get you the same rate you used to get without ads, and you’ll pay a premium to not have to watch them. If that makes any sense.

  10. 24fan24 says:

    I’ll take the free mobile web with ads.

  11. Kierst_thara says:

    I’m with BareFeet. This is just more ad-creep. As soon as the phone companies decide that people have gotten complacent with the cell ads, their ‘improved services at reduced prices’ will go out the window.

    Anyone remember when you could still go to the theatre without being bombarded with 20 minutes of commercials? (And that’s before the previews, even.) Most people these days don’t seem terribly offended though, so you can be sure the theatres are going to keep at it.

  12. Jobeleca says:

    From the AT&T side, someone has to pay for the data usage, we don’t care who it is. Though I think the advertisers are idiots in this case, cheapskates never make good customers LOL