Data Fees Hinder Mobile Growth

As a follow-up to Eric’s post “Verizon to allow ads on mobile phones,” I thought this recent IDC study debuted with impeccable timing:

Steep prices are one of the main reasons Americans are not jumping to subscribe to entertainment services for their wireless mobile devices. According to IDC’s survey, 47 percent of respondents in the key demographic age group of 18 to 24 year-olds complained that mobile data services are ‘too expensive.’

If Verizon or any other carrier is going to serve advertising against mobile content, they should eliminate data fees. It’s already expensive to browse on a phone ($29/month unlimited data with Verizon) and that fee should exempt one from advertisements served by the same carrier.

Emarketer and AdAge have been predicting massive growth in the mobile medium – some predict that it will be a $77 billion market by 2011. I don’t doubt that this will eventually occur but before that happens, some major roadblocks must be removed.

The service providers are clearly the main hindrance in the progress of the mobile medium. These companies should eliminate or significantly reduce fees while serving relevent ads to supplement. Look what happened to AOL – if it had switched to an ad-supported business plan, it might actually still be a bigtime player. Perhaps there will be a free google phone that is supported by ads?

The mobile carriers should strive to innovate rather than cling to data fees until the ship sinks. Is that too much to ask?

[Tags] verizon, mobile browsing, data fees, google phone, marketing, marketing.fm, marketing blogs [/tags]