Premium-rate industry pushes into class
Hay kids, let's do the show on a mobile phone!
Budding entrepreneurs are to be encouraged to develop premium-rate content by the industry regulator, with free lesson plans and downloads from the Ministry of Sound to make ringtone creation part of the UK curriculum.
The plans come from PhonepayPlus, the regulator formally known as ICSTIS, and comprise a new programme called PhoneBrain. Apparently the regulator has forgotten launching this two years ago. The programme is intended to help kids develop business plans based around premium-rate numbers as well as educating them about how to use such services.
It's hard to imagine many teenagers needing help operating a mobile phone, and given the way that ringtone revenue is declining it seems insane to educate children in the business. You might as well teach them coal mining, or cotton spinning.
Pupils develop business plans at school these days - now that everyone is expected to run their own dot com by the age of 20 - and handing out free lesson plans is one way to make sure teachers get involved. But whether it's useful to spend classroom time creating ringtones is another matter. A canned quote from Dominic Evans, Assistant Head of Sixth Form at Business Academy in Bexley, sums up the situation:
"The kids are really engaged and love using the technology to create their own personal ringtones. We have to drag them away when the bell rings!"
Well, that's one way of keeping them in school, but will it teach them to bend, not break, the rules? ®
The desperate Academy
The business Academy was the first one built and has been a bit of a flop. It would attend the opening of an envelope for publicity so its desperation to be attached to this dinosaur is hardly surprising. Course it leaves out the fact that Schools need Adobe software for the project which they wont have. And schools don't do 30 day trials or waste money on software for one lesson. Was Dominic given the software free? Please tell!
PPP in our schools: "must do better"
What's particular funny here is that PhonePayPlus's "innovative new schools programme" includes a "case study" of one "ALEXANDER AMOSU – LORD OF THE RINGTONES" in which PP+ write (without trace of irony):
"Alexander Amosu is one of Britain’s most successful young entrepreneurs and a leading figure in the mobile entertainment industry. He launched one of the first ringtone phone-paid service companies in the UK in 1999 and made his first million at the age of 25.
Growing up on a north London council estate, Alexander Amosu learned earlier than most that there were two ways to get what you want in life. 'You either stole it, or you found a way of paying for it.' "
Now Mr Amosu has been mentioned before by PP+. In March 2001, ICSTIS (PP+ under old name) fined Mr Alexander Amosu £1,000 and warned him about his future conduct after several breaches of their code of conduct.
So if Mr Amosu is held up as a shining example and role model for young kids by PP+, God protect us from the other PRS entrepreneurs who even PP+ admits are a bit dodgy.
Teacher leave those kids alone
How much of this £1b industry would there be without the premium rate spam, scam and dodgy ringtone web sites.