Trees that tweet, Duran Duran go 3G at mobile mega-show

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Trees that tweet, Duran Duran go 3G at mobile mega-show
By Helen Twose

80s pop sensations Duran Duran aim to team up with telcos to push their music to a whole new generation of fans.

Fresh from performing with his Duran Duran band mates the night before at the Mobile World Congress awards dinner Nick Rhodes talked about how the band are using telecommunications technology to reach a broader audience with their upcoming album release.

"We look at it as a box of tools and with mobile there's a lot more you can do than you ever could before," Rhodes said.

"We're always looking for new ways to create something. When we go into the studio I might find a new gadget and use it with the music. When we've got content we're looking for new ways to distribute content, but also how to break the content up and whether there is any interactive elements."

The band, known for their extravagant videos in the 80s, have already played with letting their fans create video clips or remix songs.

Rhodes said the next step will be to team up with mobile telcos on specific projects to push the boundaries of what mobile technology is capable of.

"We're happy to provide content but we're also very interested in working with people to see what the future technologies are, what we could do, how we could use things in ways that other people have not used them yet," Rhodes said.

Outside of a flirtation with ringtones, music and video downloads, most artists haven't used mobile phones technology, he said.

"We haven't really got into the integrated 3G systems and using the technology to its best," said Rhodes. "I think you'll find what's starting to happen now is for the first time artists are actually saying 'wait a minute, the mobile audience is so much bigger than even the online audience'."

It's a brave new world out there where you try new things and see what works, said Rhodes.

"My view has always been, don't be afraid to try something new, don't be afraid to get out there and actually see what people think because they'll let you know soon enough,"

He said in the always on and connected world where it is possible to provide content frequently it was still important to retain the quality.

"What I like the idea of is everything is instant. We used to have to put a record out, stick posters up around the town and hope someone walked by at a certain time of the day," he said. "Now we know we press a button and there it is, all over mobile phone networks, all over the internet. People have it and they decide very, very quickly."

It's an aspect of technology that Rhodes likes and said works well for artists who are essentially communicators.

Markets such as India and China with mobile ownership in excess of PC or traditional phone ownership open up opportunities to get Duran Duran's music to an audience very quickly, said Rhodes.

Courtesy New Zealand Herald