Sybase isn’t voting for “American Idol”

By Reuters Staff
May 19, 2008

simon.jpgContrary to popular belief, the smash hit talent show “American Idol” isn’t bringing in boatloads of money for everyone involved.

So says John Chen, the chief executive of Sybase Inc, a business software maker that builds technology for both wired and wireless devices. Chen was asked at the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit whether he’d like to get the contract for “American Idol” texting, which is how TV viewers vote for their favorite performer.

“Our competitiors who got into ‘American Idol’ don’t make any money,” said Chen.

But he does want to get into the business side of text messaging in a big way, whether that’s working with banks or credit cards and anyone else who can send a quick message to their customer.

“If you want to do business with the next generation, you better be messaging capable,” he said.

Why? Because kids these days are all about the text. “They don’t do e-mail,” he said.

Chen also points out the texting is what he calls “viral,” meaning people automatically respond when they get a message.

“If you text and say ‘Be there in five minutes,” he said. “The number one tendency is to text back and say,  ‘Take your time’ or ‘Don’t come.’”

Don’t come? Sounds like your texting with Simon Cowell.

(Reuters photo: American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell)

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