While I’m still exploring other job opportunities, I realized that, since I’ve worked from home for the past 2 years, I’ve somewhat lost touch with normobs, and the things that the normal American cellphone consumer is using their phones for, and what they look for in their new phone. You may recall, a few years ago I wrote a 2-part series called ‘Confessions of a Cellphone Salesman‘, based on my experiences selling phones at a kiosk. As such, I decided it would be interesting to revisit this, so I’ve taken up working at the cellphone kiosk once again, in order to observe, 2 years later, how the American consumer has changed.
Granted, this is not an entirely scientific study, given that I’m only checking out one geographical region, etc, but it’s still good to be among ‘the great unwashed’ and see how ‘real’ people use their phones, rather than the power users I’m often surrounded by. I’ve been tracking various things, and will report observations periodically over the next few months. I am also compiling this information, and in a few months hope to put together a report showing the things that I’ve observed.
The first thing that I’ve noticed, rather astonishingly, is the way that young people (under 30) are getting music nowadays. I’ve had at least 5-6 people/week tell me that they get their music from YouTube. Yes, that’s right – not P2P, not torrents, but YouTube. They’re using various applications to download the audio from music videos that get posted to YouTube. Completely fascinating. They note that it’s cheaper than paying $3 for a ringtone, and the plus side is that they get the music video, too.
Given the RIAA’s fanatic path of self-destruction over the past few years, I found this completely fascinating. Artists are increasingly putting their music videos on YouTube, counting the views with lust, and tossing a link to download the track from Amazon or iTunes, as well, to garner additional royalties. I wonder if they realized that they were setting themselves up for piracy?