Ads On Your Cell Phone

There is fairly recent research that shows about one-fourth of all cell phone users would be willing to look at advertising on their mobile phones in return for free service. A Harris Interactive research poll in August also says that 7% of current mobile phone subscribers would be interested in receiving relevant promotional text messages with some caveats. The ads-for-free-service trade-off is consistent with what I have observed among samplings of the next generation. They have ways of ignoring advertising to keep things free. But it's the 7% of consumers willing to tolerate promotional text messages that is major because there are almost as many cell phones in the U.S. as people (well, 200 million is more accurate but very substantial). This represents a big market and doesn't bode well for consumers already bogged down with 9 out of 10 junk emails. Spam filters and anti-spam software aside the early signs of the undoing of the mobile revolution may reside in this unbridled commercialization of the Internet and mobile spaces. It's sacrilegious to talk against making money off the current technology boom, but unless a balance is found between monetization and irritation the goose that laid the golden egg is headed for a dinner plate near you.