Mobile advertising will start to become the revenue driver in mobile-music services in 2007.

That is the prediction of Patrick Parodi, global chairman of the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) and chief marketing officer of mobile-entertainment service provider Amobee.

Speaking to after a special MEF Panel at this year's 3GSM World Congress event earlier this week, Parodi explained why advertising is expected to spur mobile-music consumption this year.

"Mobile is the first medium never to have had advertising (from its beginnings); the user has had to pay for everything: full tracks, ringtones, realtones, ringback tones," he said.

"Now we're trying to build new business models and we believe there is a model that provides for personalized advertising delivered with the song. This is where the artist and label can be compensated not from a percentage of sales, but from what the advertiser is willing to pay for being associated with the song."

He argued that, taken to its very extreme, ad-funded services could lead to super distribution of music. As more people listened to a song, the more the advertiser will pay for the association. "Digital rights management (DRM) might not even be needed."

However, he added, 2007 will be mainly a transition year for mobile-music ads. "2008 will then establish itself as the year for this new (business) model," he said.