MEM 2006: Who To Blame For Slow Progress With Mobile Music Business Models?

The panel was looking for someone to blame for the slow development of new business models for music on mobiles. DoCoMo’s SED Voytek Siewierski said the equipment and ambitions of the operators are partly to blame, and Ted Cohen, VP of new media at EMI, was quick to blame the operators in jest but added: “Labels and publishers are getting better but it hasn’t been a dialogue – it’s been competing monologues.” That’s only started to change in the past 8-12 months when “the person over the table” has started to understand what is being asked for.
More mention of ad-supported models came up again. Cohen said labels had traditionally been resistant to ad-supported models because they thought it undermines the music. But the transition to legal P2P systems would make ad-supported models more widespread because they will help the transition from free to paid-for. Cohen: “Access, rather than ownership will drive the industry.”
— On DRM, publishers must remember that this is about management, not protection, said Pierre-Emmanuel Struyven, Universal’s SVP for products and business development. “It’s not just a technical way to encrypt the content. Ease of use for the consumer has to be the most important thing. It needs to be seamless, and they need to be able to use it on several devices without being frustrated by having to pay again to get the same song for another device.”
— SDC CEO Michael Bornhauser also said if his son went out to buy a device, he’d opt for a phone that he could use for calls, messaging, web browsing, photos, video and storing 100 songs rather than an iPod. But I think that really underestimates The Power Of The Apple – nothing to match it for design or for the cool factor, IMHO. Not to mention the 82 per cent plus market share for MP3 devices…

This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.