Beyond Ring Tones: Experts Tout Mobile Music

LOS ANGELES -- Music brands find that connecting with fans through cell phones and mobile campaigns can mean the difference between consumers getting lost or sticking around.

Panelists participating in the "Re-Mix: Dialing up a Music Model" panel at the OMMA Mobile conference Thursday agreed that mobile campaigns should not be considered an afterthought. If executed properly, they produce high return on investments and consumer loyalty. Such campaigns capitalize on "personalization" and "self-expression," connecting bands with fans.

Proof came with an example from when country station Citadel WKHX, Atlanta, wanting to do a cool contest to increase ratings, tapped country singer Kellie Pickler. The mobile campaign had 4.3 million messages in seven days, and during this time the radio station's online community increased 650%. "The campaign shows a deep recognition to the connection with the audience has become more important," said Dorrian Porter, CEO, Mozes, Palo Alto, Calif. "It's all about maintaining a relationship with the artist through mobile phones."



Aside from downloadable music, some see it as a way to drive other activity around the site like blogs, instant messaging and ringtones, said Casey Johns, VP of business development, MocoSpace, a mobile social network in Boston.

GoDigital Media Group uses mobile mostly for marketing and ringtone distribution, giving something back to consumers after they submit their cell phone number. "Mobile is a huge revenue source for us," said Dave Lindsay, project manager at the company. Many of GoDigital's campaigns are done through Mozes and Myxer, Deerfield Beach Fla., two companies also participating on the panel.

Panelists expressed one disappointment with mobile: geo-targeting has not taken off as expected.

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