Friday, February 27, 2009

Why Are iPhone Users Willing to Pay for Content?

This is really quite fascinating.  Just when you think you've got Apple figured out, something new like this comes along.  Everyone is scrambling to write an iPhone application, but many of them can't tell you exactly why - except that they feel this pressing need to do it or be left out.

So, what are your reasons for developing an iPhone application?  Is it because you have an existing customer base and content that lends itself well to display on a phone, and finally there's a popular phone with a relatively simple development environment and an easy way to distribute your application?   Or, is it because you see the iTunes store as a way to market your product to a large audience of iPhone users?  If so, is it for branding and awareness, or is it to make money?

Personally, I have been leaning towards the first reason being the best one, and the marketing and revenue (if your app isn't free) as the icing on the cake.  However, this story brings up an interesting point.  The iPhone may be a perfectly viable place to sell stuff which is otherwise free online.  After all, isn't this what Apple does when they sell TV shows on the iTunes store which you could probably get for free from Hulu, Sling.com, or other content aggregators?

Who knows, maybe an article like this will spawn a whole bunch of new applications which are basically just packaging and re-selling stuff you could easily find online.  And, because iPhone customers have been trained to spend $0.99 without blinking an eye, the developers might actually make some money doing it.

Why Are iPhone Users Willing to Pay for Content? - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

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