Duran Duran's Rhodes sings the praises of mobile media

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BARCELONA, Spain--Forward-thinking pop acts like Duran Duran once ushered in a new era of multimedia convergence by popularizing and revolutionizing the music video format, but the band's keyboardist Nick Rhodes admits today's artists have been far slower to embrace the full possibilities of the mobile platform. Speaking during the Mobile Entertainment & Lifestyle keynote here at the 2010 Mobile World Congress, Rhodes--currently at work on a new Duran Duran album--said artists have yet to fully engage with mobile media: "We've gotten into ringtones and clips, but we haven't gotten into integrated 3G systems and using technology to its best," he said. "Artists are saying the mobile audience is even bigger than the online audience, but we haven't fully used this communication system."

Rhodes nevertheless expressed enthusiasm for mobile as a channel to more effectively distribute music and communicate with audiences. "Everything is instant now. We press a button, and there it is, all over mobile phone networks and over the web," he said. "It works well for artists, because we really are communicators."

Rhodes also noted his interest in emerging mobile technologies like augmented reality, and said Duran Duran is looking to collaborate with mobile solutions providers on some upcoming projects. "We're happy simply to provide content, but we're also interested in working with people to push technology forward," Rhodes explained. "It's a brave new world out there. You try things. My view has always been ‘Don't be afraid to try something new.'"

Duran Duran formed in Birmingham, England in 1978, rising to international fame on the success of hits like "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Rio" and "Girls on Film," all accompanied by groundbreaking video clips. Duran Duran has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, scoring 21 Billboard Top 100 chart singles along the way.

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