The CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2009 conference was a noticeably smaller and quieter event this year. Although many attributed the sedate atmosphere of the show to the economy, I'm sure that it also was due to the consolidation and maturation of the mobile entertainment industry.
This show has always been a bit of a wild card. Back in its early days, it was a small confab of mostly enterprise and wireless data-oriented companies. Then in 2004 and 2005 when mobile entertainment was in its glory, the show benefited tremendously. Suddenly celebrities like Paris Hilton started showing up onstage during the keynotes.
The lack of mobile entertainment buzz was never more noticeable than at this year's Billboard Mobile Entertainment Live! conference. This co-located event, typically held the day before the show, once attracted upwards of 800 or 900 attendees. But with the mobile entertainment industry's struggles, this year's opening keynote only attracted a fraction of that. Also striking was that the keynote featured Research in Motion's senior vice president of BlackBerry Platforms, Alan Brenner, instead of the traditional entertainment executives from the likes of MTV Networks, Universal Music or Fox Mobile.
To mitigate the downturn in the mobile content space, CTIA worked diligently to build the enterprise side of the show, and this year the mobile health space was particularly strong thanks to the conference's re-location to San Diego. In fact, the noise around the mobile health segment reminds me a lot of the early days of mobile entertainment. Many of the people that I talked to were attending mobile health panels to learn more about the space and see if there were any new business opportunities.
The Fierce editorial team was out in full force at the show last week, covering all aspects of the conference. You can check out our coverage of the conference and the co-located events at the CTIALive website. Also, be sure to check out our photos of the keynotes, press conferences, parties and exhibit floor.
Now that we've been home for a few days, we have had time to contemplate the themes of the show and figure out what some of the news announcements mean to the industry. Here's our scorecard of the companies and industry segments that we think emerged as the winners and losers at last week's confab. As always, we welcome your suggestions and criticisms. Please use the comment section to tell us which companies made an impression on you (either positively or negatively) last week at the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2009 conference. --Sue
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