Korte's keynote focuses on licensing, PDAs.

The international advertising industry needs to boost its strategy for licensing music for mobile-phone applications as brand owners tighten their relationships with the music industry.

That was the message from New York-based Eric Korte, music director at global ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, during a keynote address at Mobile Content World conference today (Sept. 15) in London.

Speaking to an audience at the Olympia Conference Centre and during a Q&A with Ted Cohen, senior VP of digital development and distribution at EMI Music, Korte said: "Record labels are becoming ad agencies, coffee
shops (Starbucks) are becoming record shops, movies are becoming video games, computers are becoming televisions and cell phones are becoming all these things."

"I have realized that cell phones, PDAs and other handset devices are becoming mobile Internet-connected computers," he added. "The advertising industry will be capitalizing on this to create meaningful content."

He admitted that his division had yet to start licensing music for mobile marketing. But Saatchi & Saatchi's interactive subsidiary had started to contact him to discuss ideas.

With consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, fast-food chain Burger King and soft drinks maker PepsiCo linking up with digital-music service providers such as iTunes Music Store and AOL Music, the leap to mobile distribution was inevitable, he argues.

However, he warned: "Licensing the music itself isn't the problem. But the advertising industry can be slow and old-fashioned, so we need to pay a lot of attention."