Mobile is becoming a "given" for entertainment companies. Hollywood is no longer sending mobile-specific executives to CTIA I.T. and Entertainment and neither are the music moguls nor video game makers. "Everyone is starting to embrace the idea that mobile is a part of the offering and not just the territory of the mobile guy within a company," says Antony Bruno, who heads up Billboard's Mobile Entertainment Live! event that is co-located with CTIA IT and Entertainment conference and takes place on Oct. 22. Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â "Everyone within an entertainment company needs to understand the mobile platform and the opportunity it presents and the attendees at the show this year will reflect that."
Bruno argues that this change is reflected in recent promotions within the entertainment industry: increasingly the heads of mobile divisions are taking over the overall interactive units of major media companies. For example, Universal Music Group's Rio Caraeff was just appointed Executive Vice President of eLabs, the company's new media and technologies division. This trend indicates that mobile may not just be as important as other platforms, but in some ways more so.
Apple's iPhone will certainly be a topic of discussion at CTIA. The device has enjoyed strong sales, but industry-wide full-track downloads for mobile music services have not filled the gap left by declining ringtone sales. Some record labels claim the successor to the ringtone is the "ringle" but not everyone is sold on that concept.
Much of the discussion at CTIA will focus on the evolving business model. Conference-goers will be asking about the business model and how it affects the creation and consumption of content.-Brian