Sprint Offers Full-Length Pay-Per-View Movies on Mobile Phones – Why?

This one has me stumped. I know this was announced in Q4 of last year, but I’ve just being doing some reading up on the service and frankly, I don’t get it. Who in the U.S. is going to pay to watch a two-hour movie on their cell phone? We all know that short videos to mobile devices, for the right application has some potential. But full-length movies? When are technology companies going to understand that just because you can do something technically, does not mean that consumers want it? All that matters is what’s adopted and there is no way consumers in the U.S. are going to adopt the idea of watching full-length movies on a mobile. They don’t even watch movies downloaded to a PC in any large quantity.

That being said, what applications are you seeing in the market for short videos to mobile that does show promise and has some traction?

  • 2 hour movie on a cell phone?
    Well I guess if there is something on you just cant miss…….
    otherwise you are gonna look like a
    Dee Dee Dee sititng there stering at the phone that long!
    see the communications museum at http://www.smecc.org

  • bruce

    Just as Verizon text messages ads to my phone, I can see great potential for interactive ads disguised as “surveys” which in turn would be a great way to test the mobile video market by seeing how many actually respond to the “survey.” Along the lines of a web 2.0 application only restructured for the mobile world.

  • T

    Is it really that crazy to think people would buy into it, the young crowd specifically? I thought that videos on iPods would be a stretch. Who wants to stare at a 2.5 inch screen for a couple hours? Well, apparently a lot of people do. So many people want to do it that we are now producing professional content for iPods. The only catch here is the pay part. But I don’t see that stopping people, everyone wants to have the latest and the greatest. People buy games, music, short videos, gps and who knows what else for their cell phones. Why not have full length movies? The line between cell phone, PDA, music player, is so thin now that all the technologies are converging into 1 unit. And hey, who cares if you can only watch 30 minutes of the movie before you have to plug your phone in because the batteries are low. 😉 I think this is a really poor idea and I would never buy into but I don’t think that will stop the masses.

  • Kevin

    I too find this a silly offering, but I understand where it comes from. I do specialized marketing work for some “telephony” service providers. They are under extreme pressure to take every single potentially “hot” technological advance and monetize it. A lot of these people are acting in sheer terror at the possible loss of their job due to the many mergers that have taken place amongst their kind. The end result are some seemingly asinine offerings, which may be “free” for the first few months, with a caveat that the user must opt-out before the trial period expires. If they don’t opt out, the users may not even notice the $3.95/month charge (or whatever it is) being tallied on their bill, or they may notice after being charged for some time (Good luck canceling at that point). Bottom line – is the bottom line. The business development and marketing people in these organizations are throwing everything at the wall in hope that something sticks, and even if there is no large adoption they still profit. Meanwhile it may be up to you to avoid running into some good citizen who is immersed in “Gigli” whilst strolling along. (which may soon be illegal in NYC… not “Gigli”, the “distracted walking” but they should probably think about legislating against Gigli as well)

  • Frankly, get the battery life up [it’s coming soon], a somewhat bigger screen and they got a huge hit! Watching a long-form movie and get a phone call? That’s OK, it will stop automatically when ya connect and resume when ya disconnect and press “play”.
    Yup, we are in the content biz & own 3,000+ long form and would love to offer this, so I am biz biased, but also a TV/movie junkie since I LOVE LUCY premiered in ’51 . . . “Hey, where’s my new Motorola, Lucy’s locked in the freezer again!”