Teenagers Can’t Pay For Things Online

Why can’t music streaming companies get people using their credit cards?

“There is this irrational resistance for people to actually plunk down their credit card for streaming services,” said Ted Cohen, a digital music consultant with the firm TAG Strategic. “We’re 13 years into the Napster phenomenon of ‘music is free,’ and it’s hard to get people back into the idea that music is at least worth the value of a cup of Starbucks coffee a week.”

Here’s my armchair analysis. Their customers don’t even have credit cards.

Music is an important thing for youth. It’s one of the first things that kids and teenagers use to define themselves and compare themselves to their friends and others.

They don’t have credit cards.

When did you get your first credit card? I think I got mine around 17.

Years ago you would go to a retailer and use cash to buy media. In the digital world you can’t.

How much of the “nobody wants to pay for anything” argument is really “nobody CAN pay for anything?”

The analog-to-digital conversion didn’t just happen with media. It happened with payments. Payments haven’t really gone digital for youth. All they have is cash…and iTunes allowances. I wonder how many iTunes gift cards are used just so teenagers can buy themselves iTunes credit.