Verizon Wireless, a mobile phone service provider and popular topic around here, recently began airing ads for a new service called “VCAST Song ID.” VCAST is the name given to the rich-media service Verizon offers to its subscribers. Music ID is a clever, albeit not new idea. When a user is out and about and hear a song they like, they activate the Song ID feature. The device records a bit, analyzes it, and offers users the option to buy that song from the Verizon Wireless music download store, right on the mobile phone/device.
This idea has been around for a while; my first mp3 player, the huge Neuros HD device had this functionality. It never really took off, due in part likely to the fact that there were several steps in the process to get to the music you wanted. Verizon gets closer to that ideal of ‘click to content’; the fewer steps between what the users discovers & desires to the actual acquisition of content, the better. And more likely that users will part with their dollars for that content.
Some podcasters have gotten in on this ‘click to content’ concept as well. Beatport.com, purveyor of independently produced dance music, has been assembling an enhanced audio podcast of some of the top songs they have available for purchase. [Enhanced audio podcasts are like other podcasts, but they can be divided into discrete chapters with associated images and links.]
As a side note, Beatport is a label that is thinking ahead by creating artist contracts that allow & involve this sort of sophisticated technology, something verboten in the world of traditional media copyright.
When this podcast plays in iTunes, the song’s artwork appears as well as a link to purchase the song from Beatport.com. This will only work on the computer, not yet on the iPod, but I imagine that ‘click to content’ from future generations of the ubiquitous device cannot be all that far off.
We’ll be discussing ‘click to content’ much more, to be sure.