Nokia, the most important brand in South East Asia launched Ovi at the Go Play event yesterday in Singapore. In the same way that Apple has their .Mac and iTunes Online Store, Microsoft has their own music store for th Zune. Nintendo has their shopping channel for th virtual console, Nokia unveils their plans for a portal by which consumers can avail of direct downloads of songs and games over their own proprietary portal.
This is a consumer boon — but what happens to the telcos (Globe and SMART in particular back here in the Philippines)? According to Vishal Gondal, founder and CEO of Indiagames, the telcos have become so-so when it comes to the promotion of mobile games. Usually, top tier games are the ones downloaded (those appearing on the top links of download portals). But what happens to the rest of the inventory of titles?
Ofcourse, telcos still provide the actual streaming service for downloads and earn from the data costs. But OTA downloads is the least popular choice in countries like the Philippines because most of the Philippine population uses a prepaid service OR are not really that educated about DRM-enabled music (piracy here is a big thing).
Ovi allows for downloads via PC or WiFi. Also, remeber that the new music downloads will be available at a higher bitrate of 192kbps, which is a much larger file compared to the smaller “optimized for mobile” 64kbps files.
Ovi promises to offer more value not just with downloads, but by merging the whole digital mobile experience with your desktop PC and your friends via online community support. Can the telcos challenge this business model?