Robbie Williams in Exclusive T-Mobile Deal

British pop star Robbie Williams has signed an exclusive 18-month deal with T-Mobile where the operator will offer exclusive content, some of it embedded in handsets it sells. Williams is undoubtedly popular around the world — he’s sold 51 million albums — but are these kinds of exclusive deals what’s really going to make people believers in mobile music? It’s doubtful.

While some die-hard fans may be convinced to switch to T-Mobile for the exclusive content, the vast majority of people won’t care. When Apple launched iTunes, or Napster started, they weren’t built around a single artist, and that’s why they succeeded. There’s an implication in these sorts of single-star-centric promos that unless you’re a fan of this one particular person, that there’s nothing in the offering for you — and the number of potential users alienated by that far outweighs the number that will be attracted by it.

Cross-posted to MobHappy.

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