Vi ricordate Cliq? Probabilmente no. Sviluppato da UBC Media e lanciato a dicembre 2007, Cliq è uno di quei servizi click and buy che dovrebbero (in teoria) fare la fortuna della radio digitale, consentendo agli ascoltatori l’immediato acquisto di un brano musicale ascoltato alla radio. Campa cavallo. UBC Media ha deciso di chiudere il servizio dando la colpa allo scarso gradimento del DAB e alla mancanza di terminali DAB compatibili con la tecnologia Cliq, soprattutto terminali telefonici, come il famoso telefonino Lobster con ricevitore DAB integrato che era stato lanciato (e ucciso pochi mesi dopo) dall’operatore inglese Virgin. In mancanza di questi dispositivi, UBC si era rassegnata a distribuire il prodotto Cliq attraverso una applicazione Java per telefonini. Ma neppure questo ha funzionato.
Ormai sono un cronista piuttosto scafato di questi tristi fallimenti e non mi sorprendo più quando leggo commenti tipo “resto convinto del potenziale di questi servizi”. Anche Simon Cole, responsabile di UBC Media si dice convinto del potenziale. Chissà quando cominceranno ad aprire gli occhi.
UBC Media Group reduces expenditure on Cliq by closing mobile phone consumer service
UBC Media Group plc (“UBC” or “the Company”) has today announced the closure of the loss-making mobile phone version of its Cliq music downloading service and will instead concentrate on providing a business-to-business solution to manufacturers of connected devices, including Wi-Fi digital radios like Imagination Technologies, with whom it has an existing relationship.
Consumer take-up of the mobile phone service since its launch in December 2007 has been slower than expected and availability of mobile phones with built in DAB radios continues to be restricted. The Company has encountered greater than expected technical difficulties with the interim solution of a JAVA application on UK handsets and networks.
In its accounts to March 31st 2008, UBC will impair previously capitalised development costs of £2 million. In the current financial year, to March 31st 2009, UBC expects to make savings of £1.2million after closure costs of approximately £1.1million. No further funds will be invested in Cliq.
As at today’s date, UBC has a cash balance of £4.35 million.
In the current market UBC is focused on reducing risks and costs and increasing profitability. UBC will continue to own the intellectual property developed in connection with the Cliq service. The Company will now incorporate this IP within the Unique Interactive division (“UI”) and use this, and the technical infrastructure it has developed, to offer the Cliq solution in the same way UI has successfully marketed its other digital radio software products.
Commenting on the closure of the Cliq mobile service, Chief Executive Simon Cole said:
“I remain convinced that transactional revenues will be an important part of the radio industry in the future. For a variety of reasons, including the delay by manufacturers in bringing DAB connected devices to market, we have tried to lead this process in the interim on the JAVA mobile phone platform and have not succeeded. However, the technology, intellectual property and pending patents that we have developed during this process remain within the business. We believe we can exploit these without the need for the high risk, high cost exposure to a consumer service “