Marketplace monetization idea: gift items

1 minute read

I seem to be going off-topic a lot these days but I hope you will forgive me for that.

My wife has been eying my new HTC 7 Pro quite a lot, especially since I showed her some of her favorite XBox puzzle games on it. I see where this is going to end – sooner or later (and from the looks of it rather sooner than later) her old Nokia phone will be replaced by something that runs Windows Phone 7 as well. If only because I would like to retain control over my own phone, thank you very much ;-)

And then it started to dawn on me: it would be great to buy gifts for someone else in the Marketplace.

Suppose I am browsing the Marketplace and find a game or piece of music that I know my wife (or anyone else for what matters) would like very much. I would like to be able to buy the item as a gift, i.e. I pay with my live id, but instead of installing the item on my own device I would get the option to enter someone else’s live id, and a personal note. My wife for instance would then get an e-mail on her live account (“Hi luv look what I got you”) with a Zune link, she clicks on it, the Marketplace recognizes it’s already paid for, and she gets her beloved game. Or a romantic song, or whatever.

I have no idea if this is a possible or even a viable scenario, but the thought crossed my mind yesterday evening (when my wife was watching me play a puzzle game on my phone and all but ripped it from my hands) and I just wanted to share it.

What do you think? Sensible idea, or simply not viable (too complicated for the expected ROI).?