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Mobile entertainment at a crossroads, again
|02 сентября 2008|
Billboard's semi-annual Mobile Entertainment Live! conference, taking place September 9, introduces a new format this time around, promising an event shaped in large part by audience interaction.
In addition to staples like keynote interviews and presentations as well as in-depth tracks emphasizing mobile content tentpoles like music, video and advertising, Mobile Entertainment Live! will spotlight product demonstrations, Q&A sessions and moderator-free open feedback forums. Another significant change: The conference is produced in association with handset giant Nokia, whose head of major label relations Paul Smith is among the keynote presenters. Other scheduled keynoters include Warner Music Group's executive vice president of digital strategy and business development Michael Nash, MySpace's senior director of mobile business development Brandon Lucas and MediaFLO's senior vice president of programming and advertising Jonathan Barzilay.
But conspicuously absent from the Mobile Entertainment Live! presenter roster are executives from any of the major wireless carriers, which underscores one of the major questions heading into CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2008: What role do operators play in the fast-evolving mobile content marketplace, anyway? Given the expanding mobile web presence of major media brands and content providers, the continued emergence of off-deck mobile storefronts, and the growing profile of device maker retail platforms like Apple's iTunes and Nokia's Comes With Music, operators are in more danger than ever of finding themselves relegated to dumb pipe status. No less a surefire CTIA Wireless I.T. conversation starter: The economy, and the impact the recession will have on consumer spending on mobile data. According to a recent report issued by advisory firm Chetan Sharma Consulting, the U.S. wireless data market grew 40 percent in Q2 2008 compared to year-ago totals, generating $8.2 billion in data revenues--average data ARPU also increased $0.50 during the most recent quarter. Will subscribers continue shelling out for mobile data in the face of economic hardship? And if not, what does that mean for a wireless industry increasingly dependent on data revenues? Those are the Q's--we'll see if anyone has the A's.