Yesterday on the Caltrain, I heard a bunch of teens discussing their “Mobile Data” Allowance. They ranged from having 3GB of cellular data, to being on a family plan of 4CB, etc. One child remarked that he had already used up 90% of his plan, and that he would have to pay his parents if he or his sister used up the rest before next week.
What I found surprising is that how access to data in this age is often talked about as an asset. I bet that almost all of those kids would not be able to live without 3G so they could watch their youtube clips on the train. If given the choice between money for a data plan, or a data plan, they would pick the 2nd.
The insight here is that users are open to many forms of compensation. Often data, access to scare content, or other perks can be just as good as money.