Glaser: Mobile penetration will hit 200%


BARCELONA, Spain -- Consumer demand for mobile services will see many consumers own more than one cell phone, according to Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser.

Speaking at Mobile Backstage, a GSMA/Nielsen production for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Glaser said it was impossible to have a single "do everything, no compromise" mobile device because of the restrictions on size, input method and ease of access to non-phone functions.

"Mobile penetration won't stop at 100%," he predicted. "It will go to 200% because the notion of a single device that does it all isn't the way (the market is) going to go."

In his closing keynote to the conference, titled "Bring mobile entertainment to the masses: roadblocks and opportunities for mainstream adoption," Glaser said the music business was still suffering during the transition from CD to downloads.

"It substituted out $12 albums for $1 singles," he said. "It was a missed opportunity to reinvent the album for the digital age, but the situation is recoverable."

Glaser praised the industry for recent experiments with selling DRM-free music and for its "greater flexibility" toward subscription services.

Earlier in the day executives on the "Where's the money?" panel debated the business models that work best for various types of content. Mika Salmi, president of MTV digital networks, said that the mobile business was still too localized to take a unified global approach.

"What works depends on the country," he said. "For example, in the U.S. mobile video has worked much better than anywhere else in the world thanks to flat-rate pricing."

The Mobile World Congress concludes Thursday.

Nielsen is the parent company of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter.