You've been gamed
Telcos, there are some awfully smart people using your dumb pipes. Here's a microcosmic example, for what it's worth. Here's a small-ish, but fast growing massively multiplayer online role playing game, called Eve, run by a tiny Icelandic company. It currently has somthing over 70k subscribers, and recently has seen concurrent sessions running at nearly a quarter of its total subscriber base. Oh, the bandwidth. Last month, it began offering a glossy magazine for the player community, priced at a not inconsiderable $15. It so happens that one of my colleagues knows the graphic design company commissioned to produce this, and apparently the first print run of c.5,000 copies is already sold out. This suggests a sell-through rate of over 7% of the user base on the first attempt. Based on the telco data I am seeing, I think telcos would kill to see this sort of take rate in their IPTV offerings... The difference is that, while telcos are selling a product (and a rather undifferentiated, boring one at that), these guys are selling an experience, a subculture/lifestyle, and there are willing buyers, both as individuals and corporations. I repeat, did you ever just feel plain lost?