/// Mobile content has come a long way in ten years
Three weeks ago, I started to digitise my music collection again. After five years of travelling and renting houses, the purchase of a new house concentrated the mind. Time to open those dusty boxes and start burning.
I finished it at the weekend, a nightmare task that took more than two weeks and I never realised I could hate Double-CD or Treble-CDs so much, but now it is done and I can finally enslave myself to the digital Gods.
Of all the arts, music is the sector that has been most affected by the ubiquity of its digital rebirth and the one that I have despised the most. My son is ten years old, but until he was four I always took him with me to a record shop on Saturday mornings to learn that culture.
My memories were of Rough Trade as a teenager and carried on for more than three decades through any number of shops or labels. Unfortunately for my son, his record shop odyssey was over before it began and, while I’m sure he’ll never miss it, I wish he’d experienced it.
But I now have all my CDs on my computer and presumably I will soon buy a device that will be able to play those songs anywhere I like. But I’m finding it difficult to reconcile my online music collection with my mobile phone as much as I’m still finding it hard to use apps in any way at all.
True, the British Airways app that includes the boarding card means my odium for the printer business model was correct and means I won’t have to go to the library or ‘print shop’ in the future, but mobile is one step beyond for me when it comes to harmonising my music collection.
I was minded of this last year when the shortlist of the world’s (probable) best mobile companies was announced by the MEF, the ‘global community for mobile content and commerce’. This shortlist of companies make up the shortlist for the Meffys, the 10th annual mobile awards that this year are taking place in Silicon Valley for the first time.
In the early days of mobile, the Meffys were a good night out and certainly were the centrepiece of the mobile industry, but rather like my record collection and ancient record shop experience, this year’s nominees have moved on significantly in mobile and the companies that now represent it are extraordinary.
Ten years ago when the Meffys were inaugurated, the categories were seminal, but not as exhaustive as this year’s list of 13 different categories with entries from more than 25 countries, including a plethora of applications from Africa. A decade ago, even five years ago, Africa didn’t exist when it came to mobile.
That’s also apposite when it comes to mobile music, which doesn’t even need a section of its own nowadays because of its integration into people’s digital music collections (unlike mine). Instead mobile music companies fall under other categories such as Content Services, Brands On Mobile and Discovery & Engagement.
“This year’s diverse entries from across 25 countries and the Meffys shortlist highlights the global nature and ever-expanding ecosystem of mobile content and commerce. We are excited to bring the heritage of our Industry’s most coveted awards to the heart of Silicon Valley and congratulations to all of this year’s Meffys finalists; we wish everyone good luck,” said Rimma Perelmuter, MEF CEO.
As Perelmuter says, MEF’s decision to move the Meffys and its accompanying trade show, MEF Global Forum 2013, to San Francisco next month after ten years in London (including a two-year furlough in Cannes) is an interesting move. It reinforces that Silicon Valley is a mobile and cloud and social cluster nowadays and not just a tech hub.
As for me, I intend on seeing the show for myself and will make up my own mind, but I doubt very, very much whether there will be anybody there who will convince me to sideload my music collection to a mobile phone, but I’ve been wrong before.
The Telegraph – Monty Munford