3 Wants Users To Pay For Video Game Reviews
By Mike Masnick, Tue Jun 01 17:45:00 GMT 2004
Fresh off both higher than expected growth numbers and rumors that they may be shut down, 3 UK is now trying to entice people to pay to receive video reviews of video games.
Just as Hutchison is going around loudly denying last week's speculation concerning the possibility of shelving their "early adopter" 3G service in the UK, 3 is trying to prove its worth by offering new services for users.
After nearly two years' worth of hype about how people will be able to watch video on their mobile phones, 3 still seems to be forgetting that to have people want to watch videos on their mobile phone there needs to be some sort of compelling reason. Following their impressive (and somewhat surprising) growth numbers, you might expect their next service release to target a pretty broad market. Instead, their latest mobile video service announcement is a plan to let users watch videos of game reviews... at 70p a pop.
This isn't an extreme price, but if you're trying to encourage people to use a new feature, charging people to get what are essentially advertisements doesn't seem to be the most appealing way to do so. It looks like 3 is still learning the wrong lessons from their ongoing experiments in 3G. Once they realized people weren't signing up in droves for their hideous phones, they decided to compete by being a discount provider (despite the whole point of offering 3G to add value added features). Now that their numbers are finally up, it looks like they're trying to push back into value-added services, but forgot to figure out what people might actually value. It's not a question of having enough subscribers - but having enough offerings that people actually want.