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Friday, July 31, 2009

If I was running M&A at an operator looking at consumer web services businesses....

.... I'd be digging deep in my pockets and looking to buy Spotify, and keep it (largely) independent of access provision. Not that it's likely going to be up for sale for a while, but it's the sort of thing that could extend across multiple fixed and mobile network operators' handsets and PCs, and which seems to have a feasible advertising-based business model.

It could be the basis for social networks (both mobile & PC based), it could be blended with all sorts of carrier intelligence and assets/APIs about users, it could be offered in "enhanced" version when bundled with own-brand access or in "independent" mode across other competing networks. It could tie in with other initiatives in advertising or content.

It could compete with iTunes and Ovi, and integrate neatly with Facebook and other social networks.

It's exactly the sort of service that many providers would denigrate as being "over the top". And yet it's exactly the sort of thing they should be building "over the top" of their competitors.

But I suspect that even given the opportunity, most mobile operators would rather waste the money deploying a pointless IMS application environment, with its weak focus on legacy "session-based" services.

Oh well. I guess it'll probably end up with Google or Microsoft or Facebook instead.

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