Mobile-ent: After the barren post-ringtone years, is mobile music stirring into life?
In a few days, ME will host its first conference: Mobile Music Now.
And we're doing so with the market emerging from a moribund state into something new and potentially game-changing. DRM, subscriptions, ad-funding, apps – all of a sudden everything's up for debate again.
When ME launched, the music business was milking the ringtone cash cow. It was briefly worth $4 billion a year. But mis-sold subscriptions and self-configuring by users butchered that bovine. And what came into its place? Operator full-track stores offering an inferior experience to iTunes – at twice the price.