The Wall Street Journal reported that AT&T may soon be testing a new service that will allow app developers to pay for their apps data usage. This means that if a user on the AT&T network downloads a developers app they have the option if the dev allows it to not use their own data with the app. This would of course require app developers to pay AT&T for their apps data usage instead of it falling into the users responsibility.
While we think Ma Bell has gone nuts, think about the fact that applications that stream movies or sports to a mobile device use data very quickly. Users are less likely to use your app if their data plans cannot support it. This way the developers will have the opportunity to reach users and sell their apps to those that would otherwise ignore it due to its intense data requirements. This could increase app service signups with any streaming services available today.
We can’t see this actually making AT&T any additional money since they will lose on data overages for those that would download and use the service regardless. If the service costs the developers more than they are gaining from subscriptions then it could prove to be a failure. We are however looking forward to seeing how this all pans out and will keep you informed.