Ralph Simon (Chairman of the influential Mobile Entertainment Forum – Americas (MEF), the official global body of the mobile entertainment industry) said A&R is changing, and music firms must have a mobile strategy for your A&R.

“How should record labels mobilise? What mobile content can artists create? What should artists and mangers plan for? How does A&R interface with “seeding”?

“A golden rule of mobile is to use mobile to seed a new band with a potential fan base. You can effectively have a much faster pickup on a global basis than ever before because of mobile. Word travels faster on mobile than in the traditional record business. But it has to sit hand in glove with artists development.”

There will be 2.4billion mobile users by the end of 2005. 50m+ in the UK.

A new science is developing called “Moseology” – mobile sociology. People want to personal their phone, just like their music.

Autumn is a big time for mobile operators in terms of sales. New phones will have huge storage capabiliies,

UK has 84% penetration of mobile phones currently.

He said mobile brings added value to labels and creates great new A&R. In Tv it’s mobile TV and video, cross media, mobile communities, mobile advertising and retailing. Increasingly there are radio tuners inside mobiles.

Simon cited the example of AC/DC. It was signed to Atlantic for 25 years. The contract came to an end. Their former manager, Steve Barnett, called frontman guitarist Angus and said you have to comer over to Epic as we can get your catalogue revitalised on mobile. The rumour is Sony paid $40m for AC/DC – in particular to get Back in Black, with a great guitar phrase. They looped the phrase into a master ringtone. This has now sold 2m master ringtones from these catalogue records. So the idea is to take this content and tune this into clips for mobile while the album is being recorded.