Reading news of the Loopt acquisition this morning got me thinking. What if someone were to build a service that would check your location and use it as a way to unlock content that would normally sit behind a paywall? Here are a couple of the use case.
Starbucks could do a deal with the Wall Street Journal or New York Times and sponsor free reading when you are within range of a Starbucks. If you check in to pass your location or attach to their wifi then all access will go direct instead of via the paywall. Or maybe the publisher asks for an email address for access and then Starbucks and the publisher can do a revenue share on new subscriber revenue.
This location-based DRM could extend to any publisher:
- Games that you can only play while you are within a store as a way to trial the experience or enhance existing games.
- Music that you can sample via Spotify while you are shopping at Target.
- Apps that can only be downloaded from specific stores.
Microsoft has a specific patent for Location Based Licensing, I wonder if they’ll ever use it?