28 January 2010

MEF takes the lead on demystifying apps for the music industry & Midem wrap-up

Midem 2010: Music, monetisation and mobile apps

Dominic Pride of The Sound Horizon presented the MEF workshop at the packed MidemNet Academy session (25 January 2010) entitled “Making a music app successful”. After a review of the current app landscape and an analysis of which types of apps are the most popular, Dominic outlined the 5 steps to app success.

Applications were identified as accounting for 18% of future revenues in MEF’s 4th Business Confidence Index and the music industry was understandably eager to engage fans and cash in on the apps phenomenon. To discover the ingredients of a successful music application and plan your app strategy with top advice from MEF members including Distimo, GetJar, Nokia and Shazam, be sure to download the MEF Midem App Presentation.


The overall theme running through the Midem conference programme this year was ‘monetisation’ and, with the inexorable rise of social networking, a popular topic was how to “convert attention into money”. Artists were urged to use Twitter, Facebook and blogs “passionately and personally” with the caveat that it must be genuine – not someone blogging on your behalf. Acknowledging that traditional music revenues such as CD sales are declining, there was discussion around alternative revenue streams such as synchronisation, ad-funding, freemium models, sponsorship and mobile applications, in particular, were a buzz topic.

Informa valued mobile music revenues for 2009 at $11.4 billion: 50% Ringtones, 25% Ringbacktones, 20% full-track downloads and the remainder streaming. However, they also pointed out that ringtone sales are declining in many regions and predicted strong growth for mobile music applications. Elsewhere during a panel on mobile applications, there was consensus that it was still early days and that business models remained “fluid” with free vs freemium vs paid apps as well as in app purchasing all featuring in the market.


Ralph Simon, MEF Americas Chairman Emeritus, took the stage at MidemNet to share his ideas on music monetisation, underlining the growing role of mobile as the number of handsets and smartphones continues to multiply.

As creater of the word ‘mociology’ (how people use mobile in their daily life), he coined a new acronym “AA&R” referring to ‘access, artists & repertoire’: “Because it’s really about access – access to the social networks, and to the communities that build, drive and really sell music and music experiences around the world.”

Access was also a subject touched upon by Artist and producer Pharrell Williams who expressed concern that young people would be disenfranchised if they’re not ‘connected’. This point was picked up on by futurologist Gerd Leonard who claimed: “It’s in the interest of governments in emerging economies to enable connectivity as there’s a direct correlation with GDP growth. In these regions, mobile is often the first and only access device to the internet.”


An interview with Kodak’s CMO, Jeffrey Hayzlett, told the “adapt or die” story of a company that had to reinvent itself due to massive structural change: in the space of 5 years, film roll sales plummeted from $15 billion to $200m. Hayzlett’s advice to other industries undergoing a period of restructuring: “Don’t play safe, go to the edge of the table. Be allowed to experiment and if necessary fail, although preferably fail quickly and try something else!”

As the music industry continues to evolve and tap into new revenue streams, mobile remains an innovative, fast-paced strategic ally for the music business. MEF is the natural partner to bridge the gap and create competitive advantage for our members who work in this space.

27 January 2010

The Apple iPad: A milestone in the mobile content experience?

Andrew Bud comments on Apple's launch of the iPad:

The Apple iPad, announced today in San Francisco, tangibly demonstrates how mobile entertainment is rapidly evolving beyond the smartphone. This new format is a key milestone in positioning the mobile connected device at the centre of the consumer’s content experience. This development also supports MEF’s 2010 mobile media predictions, as the Apple iPad will fuel the opportunity for books to emerge as a new and popular content category and allow media publishers to further experiment with micro-payments, subscription service models and new payment methods for content.

MEF’s 10th MeM in June will address these key themes within its agenda; m-commerce, the new business models for content distribution, and the role of the mobile device within a fully integrated approach to cross-platform delivery. Attendees will be provided with an unrivalled opportunity to join the debate with leading visionaries from the mobile and content industries.

20 January 2010

Mobile Entertainment Forum’s fourth Business Confidence Index suggests economic recovery and growth

Mobile Entertainment Forum’s (MEF) fourth Business Confidence Index (BCI), compiled by KPMG, points to signs of recovery and a clear trajectory of revenue growth of 28% for the coming year.

The latest BCI survey of the MEF Membership, representative of the whole mobile media entertainment value chain, demonstrates a fourth consecutive growth prediction since January 2009 and a clear trend that the industry consistently projects growth in the region of 25-35% for the next 12 months.

Andrew Bud, the Global Chair of MEF commented: “Our industry has faced a difficult period, but these latest findings clearly show that confidence in the growth of our industry has not diminished in the last year. 81% of respondents report that their actual performance for the last quarter was either better than or in line with budget, and viewed alongside the consistent and significant market growth predictions being made by our industry is very positive news as we move into a new year.”

Rimma Perelmuter, MEF Executive Director added that: “The BCI demonstrates growing demand for paid-for mobile content. As with previous findings, 61% of revenues for the next quarter are projected to come from subscription and one off purchases. There is also consensus amongst respondents that applications will provide a substantial additional revenue source. Half of the revenue projected to come from applications in the next quarter will be from paid for apps.”

Mark Harding, Director of Digital Content at KPMG, who analysed the survey findings, stated that: “Following some uncertainty in the market over the last 12 months, headcount growth actually exceeded the projections made last quarter and respondents predict further headcount growth in the coming quarter. Applications have developed considerably as a driver of growth over the past 6 months, illustrating the dynamism of this new business model for monetising mobile content."

"The findings also identified regional variations in outlook. Central and South America have demonstrated great potential and confidence, with growth predicted for this region for each quarter to date, up from a projected 2% share for the year ending December 2009 to an actual share of 9% of the market for the year ending September 2009. Respondents believe Africa, the Middle East and China will see increases in revenues for the next 12 months, while established and other emerging markets are forecasting relatively stable revenues. Overall, these are very positive findings following a necessary period of adjustment and refocus.”

14 January 2010

MEF at the TM Forum, Management World, Orlando

In December 2009, MEF sponsored the Mobile Ad Revenue and Management Catalyst at the TM Forum Management World event in Orlando. MEF, as part of its Content Sales Reporting Initiative determined that up to 10% of gross revenues were lost because of a lack of consistent and timely CSR.

The content sales initiative addressed the need to establish best practices in reporting content sales regardless of region and types of mobile content (music, video, games, personalisation, information, etc).

The goal of the MEF initiative was to produce a generic template drafted based on all the various feedback we had from members – particularly from meetings at MWC/MEFCON/CTIA/MEM plus the conference calls. The MEF template and survey results were used as part of the Mobile Ad Revenue Management Catalyst to develop a working model for CSR as part of its catalyst project. The work is being led by cVydia, Netezza, SAS and Swisscom for TM Forum. Each company provides vital functionalities across the value chain to resolve the prevalent issues:

"We were very happy with the event in Orlando. For the first time we saw demonstrated an end to end solution for produced by SAS, cVidya and Netezza which not only deals with the loss of revenues but also shows how industry can generate additional revenues from intelligent and targeted marketing.”

- Suhail Bhat, Policy and Initiatives Director for MEF

Amir Gefen, Director of Business Development, cVidya Networks commented that, "The realization of the MEF's Content Sales Reporting Initiative enabled cVidya to expand our revenue assurance offering from telecom service providers to the media and entertainment industry. cVidya takes a leadership role in helping service providers and content providers to improve their revenue and profits."

Mike Gandolfo, Principal, Communications Product Management, SAS stated that, “MEF is generating a lot of awareness within the TMF community and is making an impact on the need to improve the current business processes in the mobile entertainment space, particularly as it relates to collecting accurate data to provide the intelligence for managing the customer experience and to create the proper reporting to ensure the revenue streams. SAS Institute, a worldwide leader in business analytics, currently has over 300 operators in the industry using SAS solutions for managing customer insight. We are very supportive of these MEF sponsored initiatives within the TMF and are encouraged by the prospects of the benefits this could bring to all parties."

Andrew Colby, Telecommunications Solution Architect at Netezza said, “Mobile content management, advertising and revenue assurance requires the ability to process large volumes of data easily and quickly. The Netezza Analytic Appliance provides a scalable solution for processing terabytes and petabytes of data for customer preference prediction and target marketing, revenue assurance, event correlation, content sales reporting and business analytics.”

The slide demonstration of the Mobile Content and Advertising Revenue Management Catalyst presented in Orlando can be found on our Content Sales Reporting page of the Mobile Entertainment Forum website.

MEF and the TM Forum intend to follow up the success at Orlando with a webinar in Q1 2010 followed by the publication of a guide showing how the issues of mobile content and advertising revenue management can be resolved in Q2 of 2010.

For more details and to get involved, please contact Suhail@m-e-f.org.

08 January 2010

Stand for MEF ASIA or MEF EMEA Boards @ MWC, 15 February 2010- Barcelona

Mobile World Congress draws international delegates from the leading telco and media companies across the globe, so where better to hold elections for MEF’s Asia and EMEA boards?

Join us at the MEF meeting which will this year feature a round-up of MEF’s activities as well as elections* for both the EMEA and Asia boards. Stand as a candidate for your local region and create thought leadership, share knowledge and address issues facing the mobile media industry.

Monday 15 February
Registration at 16:45 for 17:00 start
Finish at 19:15 (MEF Connects networking event starts nearby at 8pm)

Hotel Colonial
c/ Vía Laietana, 3
08003 Barcelona

Click here to register your attendance.

EMEA Elections
To apply for one of the six available seats on the prestigious EMEA board, please submit a photo (jpeg format) and brief campaign statement (200 words max) to MEF EMEA General Manager, Sarah Roberts.

Asia Elections
To apply for one of the six available seats on the newly expanded Asia board, please submit a photo (jpeg format) and brief campaign statement (200 words max) to MEF Asia General Manager, Linda Ruck.

A list of candidates for each board will be announced via email in the run up to MWC.

We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!

MEF Team

Election will be by written ballot of all full members present or by absentee/proxy ballot.