In our 5 minutes with profiles, MEF members talk about their business, their aspirations for the future and the wider mobile industry. This week Max Pellegrini, President of Mobile Entertainment at RealNetworks and MEF North America Board member introduces their Mobile Entertainment Division.
What does RealNetworks’ Mobile Entertainment division do?
RealNetworks creates products and services that make it easier for people to access and enjoy digital media on the devices and platforms they choose to use. The Mobile Entertainment division at RealNetworks is committed to these core goals and is focused on re-inventing the ways people personalize their devices, with a particular emphasis on the ringback tone.
What are your main goals?
Our main goal is to successfully expand our business from B2B offerings to the consumer market by deploying consumer products around the world, such as with LISTEN – the first smartphone application for ringback tones. We also intend to continue our relationships with our carrier partners into the consumer space to provide consumers with innovative products like LISTEN.
Where do you see yourselves in three years’ time?
I see our Mobile Entertainment division becoming a global leader in OTT products and services for carriers, with a significant presence in every major global market.
What aspect of mobile is most exciting to you right now?
These amazing devices we have today, which are basically different types of sensors that enable new products and services that didn’t exist before. They basically give people superpowers and enable people to improve their quality of life. There are also the capabilities that are allowed by devices that are out there today, such as location features; and, playing with APIs allows people to build their own services and provide a better quality of life for others.
What’s the most critical issue that will hit mobile within the next 12 months?
Providing high speed bandwidth to everyone. It’s a very big issue that carriers are trying to solve, but it’s also a big challenge – domestically and internationally. If achieved, it will enable more consumption of content more frequently. So many things are mobile-first, but eventually, we will be saying “mobile-only” because that will be the only way people consume online content. However, there’s a big pressure on carriers to stay within the margins that may make this less likely to be implemented.
Apart from your own, which mobile companies are the ones to watch in the year ahead?
I think it’s very interesting to look at startups that are trying to make a dent in how people interact with each other through their mobile phones. I think the WhatsApp acquisition was a big signal that social interaction apps are hugely popular. I also think those startups that are trying to improve the mobile approach for solving everyday problems – content discovery, access to information, transportation – will have a big year.
Max Pellegrini is President of Mobile Entertainment at RealNetworks. Follow him on Twitter.