C|Net News has an interesting article about the current failure of mobile content providers to 'connect' with the market. According to the article, a measly 15% of mobile users have paid and downloaded such content. The content included in this analysis includes everything from ring tones to music to videos.
Why? Well, the article claims that providers aren't selling things packaged together, say, like P-Diddy music, ring tones, and games. Instead, they are currently selling them as individual and unrelated products.
While this will improve their sales, I believe there is a stronger reason why they are having difficulty. Most people my age are pretty tech savvy and don't believe in paying for content they can get for free. For example, I have a ring tone of U2's 'Elevation' on my phone. Did I pay for it? No, I dipped into my MP3 collection cut a twenty second clip of it, and uploaded it to my phone. Games? No, again. Why the heck would I pay several dollars for something I'm only going to use when I'm at the doctors office? I roam around the web until I find a game that's free, then download it to my phone.
If content providers really wanted my attention, they would provide free content that injected ads or some similar revenue generator in it. I really wouldn't mind playing a fun game and at the end of each level look at an advertisement for breath mints or deodorant.
Welcome to the digital age where your average customer is smarter than the actual provider. Play our game and you'll win.