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News Editor

Why Cingular worships ‘Idol’

Mar 15, 20061 min
Enterprise Applications

As mysteries of the universe go, few remain more perplexing to me than understanding why otherwise sane human beings would pay real money to register their preference for one ‘American Idol’ contestant over another – as opposed to, say, arguing with their mate about same, which costs nothing but domestic tranquility.

But text-message-vote they do – by the millions – and Cingular Wireless is more than happy to collect the money.

According to today’s Boston Globe: “Last season, 41.5 million text votes were sent in; Cingular charges between $19.99 per month for a text package with 2,500 messages included and 10 cents per message on a pay-as-you-go plan, meaning the company raked in as much as $4.15 million in text messaging fees from ‘American Idol’ votes alone last year.”

Don’t even get me started on the $3 billion market for ring tones.

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at