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Saturday, 1 November 2008

Startup Idea #96: Topspinmedia for the mobile

My fascination with topspinmedia continues as everything I read is constantly coloured by this great concept . Such is the case as I stumbled across this article on how powerful mobile is and how much revenue it is already generating for the music industry.

the mobile internet has already innovated in this music area. Ringing tones. They are worth over 6.5 billion dollars (already over six times larger than the size of digital music downloads such as iTunes). .....All kinds of music innovations have been dismissed by older generations as "not being real music" such as rock n' roll which was supposedly not music, and rap which many said was not music, and the recent innovation of sampling and mashing existing music, etc. Ask the person forking over the money. If that teenager spends two dollars to put Shakira's music on the cellphone, who cares if it is of lousy sound quality, and extremely short duration. It is music.

Considering the above, doesn't it make sense to develop some easy tools that enable artists to connect with their fans via mobile? If that is logical, what do these tools look like? Well, here are some possibilities:

- using mobile as a testing platform (see fugees as an example)
- using mobile during live concerts (see diddy as an exmaple)
- allowing fans to create their ringtone mashups (see tonemine as an example)
- use the web as distribution but monetise them via ringbacks and ringtones (see Mice Love Rice as an example)

All these are opportunities for us to build simple tools to allow artisits to connect to their fans via mobile. However, the most exciting thing is to allow artists to launch their own branded phones, that comes with everything a fan desires i.e. artists wallpaper, artist ringtones and callbacks, artists mobile cover, fan chat et al. This concept was pioneered as early as 2002 by a pop group from HongKong called Twins:

This idea led to the Branded SIM Twins Mobile based on the ultra popular Hong Kong idols Twins, and turned an ordinary mobile phone into a portal with the power to bring Twins closer to their fans....With the subscription to TwinsMobile the member (subscriber) instantly belongs to a fan community. They get access to:
  • TwinsMobile STK Menu for accessing information
  • Latest news from Twins, concert info and direct advertising of upcoming live performances
  • Twins Ringtones, logo, screensaver, e-card, website with a fan chat area
  • Member can use loyalty points to enjoy more premium services
With the development of Android, I think it is now possible to develop a platform where customised Android phones can be created by artists to connect to their fans. This is an area which I find to be extremely exciting and I look forward to seeing how it will all play out in the coming month or years.