What’s More Important: Your ‘Mobile Strategy,’ Or Your ‘Cloud Strategy’?

Of course, there are formats that are completely native to mobile devices, and demand mobile-specific strategies.

The shocking revelation a few months ago was that ringtones are still contributing billions in revenue, easily a multiple over streaming subscription services.  But as smartphones continue to supplant simpler ‘feature phones,’ the old ‘mobile strategy’ may be far less important than the ‘cloud strategy’ for artists, labels, and everyone in-between.

Here’s a stat we received over the weekend.  It comes from Nielsen, which finds that half of all mobile users in the US now carry smartphones.  Which means that these users are sort of carrying ‘mobile phones’ as we’ve traditionally defined, but are more accurately carrying serious computers in their pockets.  And, increasingly interacting with music content in PC-like ways.

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Meanwhile, the PC (or Mac) becomes less important every day – but then again, so does the traditional ‘mobile phone’.  Indeed, everything seems to be getting blurred: apps are mostly native to phones, but also bleed into iPads and tablets.  SMS remains incredibly important for messaging, but so do Facebook, Twitter, email, Google Talk, and the plain ol’ phone call.  Artist websites – properly coded – work seamlessly across numerous devices, from anywhere.  And it’s all in service of a new God: the cloud.

Even the ringtone is undergoing some transformative thinking.  Pops (getpo.ps), for example, is busy building a ‘ringtone for the smartphone generation,’ one that properly integrates (and animates) all of these different messaging platforms.  Through this Android app, users can match different messaging sources with different types of media – for example, a Facebook alert with a quirky video, an SMS with a jingle, etc.  And this sort of consolidated messaging queue.

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But wait: this may be shifting towards a big blur, but don’t jump into the clouds quite yet! There are plenty of reasons to maintain a firm anchor in mobile-specific thinking, and understand the nuances of this platform.  Garrett Gee, founder of QR code-focused scan.me, recently told Digital Music News that mobile landing pages for artists must be different than mainline sites to attract participation – in fact, a lack of differentiation was causing huge problems for QR conversion.  That means simpler ‘calls to action,’ to use tired marketing-speak, and simplified tailoring towards smaller decks.

It also means that ‘mobile’ as a distinct entity will probably always mean something, and demand specific expertise and partnerships.  But isolate your ‘mobile strategy’ at your own risk…

3 Responses

  1. Visitor2

    tl,dr but can we stop calling things a “cloud strategy?” Cloud is merely a way of hosting things, its like saying your “server strategy” which is a silly statement in the context you’re presenting. You don’t have a cloud strategy you have strategies for innitiatives that use cloud technology. You need a streaming service strategy or a Google/Amazon/Itunes match strategy.

  2. @Sworly

    Your mobile or your cloud strategy? Isn’t that like having pancakes without the syrup?

  3. CLebLabs*(TM)

    Get your gear in the CLOUD, and scale up. The Universe is unfolding as it should.