The best things in life have a free alternative

FREE1I have come to expect things for free. Maybe it’s my age relative to the development and growth of the web (late twenties for those counting at home) but I would rather not pay for something when I can find it free. But I have to admit, as a music lover, satellite radio has always been very tempting. When renting a car I enjoy listening to the extremely focused channels and getting my early 90’s hip-hop fix when I want. However, I never made the switch from terrestrial and – beyond the obvious alternatives (iPod, CD’s, 8 Track) – I am finding mobile to be satellites substitute.

Many of you are likely familiar and fans of Pandora Radio, the free and personalizable web radio. Pandora is playing in my cube now and with a new Blackberry Curve in my pocket it’s also being played on the el, the bus and while driving in my car. It is easy (and free!) to set up new stations, listen to the music I like and discover new artists, wherever I am.

Of course “free” means advertising, which is something I am OK with and, according to a recent issue of BusinessWeek, others are as well. I will gladly click on an interesting ad instead of paying $16.99 a month. Rob Weisberg, Domino’s Pizza advertising exec, said “Marketers, especially consumer brands, have to take mobile seriously now. You have to be where your customer works, lives, and plays.” Companies like Target, Best Buy, and Nike are also betting on mobile (Pandora specifically) and have seen a dramatic increase in click through rates.

Mobile, while certainly not new, is gaining some serious advertising momentum. This is very good news for Pandora, for marketers, and for me, the cheap music lover.

One comment

  1. Matt Dirks

    Although I have not tried Pandora, I have found that Slacker (http://www.slacker.com) offers similar services without advertising.

    I use it on my Blackberry 8820 and it works wonderfully!

    Now that may be a truly FREE alternative.

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