Opinion: MMS and Buy may be more than a Craze
We’ve talked about SMS-based payment systems and shopping services quite a bit recently, but today we’ve come across a music-oriented service from Craze Productions based on SMS’s better looking but strangely neglected sibling, MMS. The idea is that users capture music related images, send them to Craze, and receive related content in return. While we always take developers “world’s first” claims with a pinch of salt, we’ve not heard of anything similar and we think it’s a really interesting idea. ‘MMS and Buy‘ should be well worth checking out when it launches in the UK later this month.
Craze Productions is a digital record label that specializes in publishing and distributing urban, reggae and dance music across a variety of digital platforms. It has developed the ‘MMS and Buy’ service based on an image recognition engine originally created by mobile distribution platform developer DSPV that recognizes images taken from both printed and electronic media. A typical usage scenario would look something like this: You pass a poster ad for a CD or a concert by your favorite artist on the street. You take a picture of the poster, send it to Craze, and immediately receive link-based access to ringtones, video clips, concert tickets and CDs. The service will launch in the UK later this month with a focus on the Top 20 CD singles. Users who take a shot of the CD cover in their local record store and sent it to Craze will receive a WAP link to a ringtone download page.
So, why do we like this service? Primarily because it makes use of elements intrinsic to mobile phone usage – spontaneity and variable location. We also like the ease of use – there is no application to download, no barcode to scan or SMS shortcode to type in. It really is click to capture, click to send and click to access the selected content. While we don’t think ‘MMS and Buy’ will enable MMS to catch up with SMS in terms of popularity, it’s an innovative use of existing technology that should work well from the start – and that’s always welcome in the hype-fueled world of mobile content.