Mobile platform in vogue, but it's just the beginning
Execs see plastic as thing of the pastWhile the industry is abuzz about the profit potential of mobile platforms, the entertainment content for those platforms is still very much in its infancy. That was the central message of a panel addressing how mobile devices have revolutionized music, held Tuesday as part of The Hollywood Reporter/Billboard Film & TV Music Conference at the Beverly Hilton.
"Although it's still primarily used as a communication device, mobile has also become an entertainment platform," said Rio Caraeff, vp and general manager of Universal Music Mobile-U.S., adding that 25 million people in the U.S. download music. "But less than 3% of phones sold today are broadband-enabled, so broadband is going to drive new behavior and adoption."
Paul Broucek, president of music at New Line Cinema, said the studio also is using iTunes and other platforms to reach the film-score lovers of the world.
"We're wanting to go that way and get rid of the plastic goods," said Broucek, while noting the limitations of iTunes at a print level when it pertains to providing a record's liner notes.
While Erik Smith, vp content and programming at MobiTV Inc., noted the power of established media brands to draw people to the platform, and Steven Winogradsky, president of Winogradsky Co., said that even smaller companies are finding it easier to get distribution these days because of mobile devices and digital downloading.
"Entertainment companies are starting to understand that there's money to be made in this marketplace of ringtones and downloads," Winogradsky said.
Mike Scogin, senior producer, wireless, at MTV Digital, said MTV is using a cross-promotional approach to support mobile endeavors with all of its networks.
Scogin also noted the ability of MTV's channels and online presence to help sell products like ringtones for the record labels.
"Like it or not, people are buying less of those plastic discs," Scogin said on the panel moderated by Paula Parisi, editorial director of features at The Hollywood Reporter.
A panel held later in the day addressed the issues surrounding the composition of music for video games. In fact, industry veterans said there is not much difference between composing for film or television and for a video game.
"With the advent of new technologies and consoles, gaming companies are much more aware of the music synergy and what it provides for their product," music supervisor and producer Stephan Goldman said.