The mobile space is probably two or three years away from having a significant impact on brick-and-mortar music retailers, panelists at the NARM convention in Chicago determined on a Tuesday (May 1) afternoon panel. Muze chairman Bill Stensrud compared today’s mobile Web applications to the early days of Web providers such as AOL and CompuServe.
It won’t be until the average user is comfortable venturing beyond the applications that come packaged with a mobile carrier before the impact of the cell phone is felt at traditional retail, Stensrud said. That day is not far away, but still a good 24-36 months in the future, in his mind.
Ideas for tying in the retail community with the mobile space were bandied about at the panel, “Mobile Marketing: New Frontiers in Reaching Consumers,” which was moderated by Billboard’s Antony Bruno. Sprint’s director of product entertainment marketing Alana Muller discussed simple efforts such as creating targeted email lists that send coupons to interested fans when new music is released.
Other ideas were more “sci-fi, kind of ‘Star Trek’ kind of things,” to quote Dave Ulmer, who heads Motorola’s mobile media products group. Of the latter, panelists discussed tools that could someday allow consumers to take a picture of an album poster in a retail store and receive a coupon or a preview track.