Ralph Simon is acknowledged as one of the founders of the modern mobile entertainment industry. Over the last 15 years, he has been a prominent global mobile trailblazer and innovator, helping grow the mobile entertainment and content industry while playing a central role in its impact and presence. Today, mobile is a key platform to reach over seven billion mobile subscribers worldwide.
Simon heads London-based Mobilium Global Group, which provides high-level strategic advice and guidance to individuals, brands, companies and organizations across the entire mobile spectrum, from mobile handset makers and telco operators, to technology companies, media companies, healthcare organizations, movie studios and TV networks, global music artists and TV personalities, ad agency groups, brands, and platform providers around the world.
Specifically, Simon recommends innovative, practical ways to expand an individual or company’s mobile presence through brand development and profile enhancement, all of which help not only to grow revenues, but also to maximize mobile profile and impact in order to achieve profitability. This includes the use, distribution and mobile marketing of mobile health and education content, entertainment content, mobile music, mobile games, mobile money, mobile social media, and mobile media technology and applications.
In late 2013, Mobilium Africa launched the first comprehensive, pan-African and Africa-specific mobile health delivery network known as Smart Health Hub. With one billion people and some 800 million mobile subscribers, Africa has amazing potential for mobile growth across all sectors and will play a key role in the development of the global mobile industry. Mobilium Africa has licensed the innovative Smart Health Hub health and wellness platform to Samsung, one of the world’s largest mobile device manufacturing companies. The Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria is an official participant in Smart Health Hub, as is SafePoint Single-Use Syringes, and it also has the support of the World Health Organization (WHO). Smart Health Hub is part of a wider range of mobile commerce, software and innovation that Mobilium has begun to bring to the entire African continent and rest of the world. This will include mobile health, mobile wallet technology, mobile payment systems and new ways of using mobile gamification.
Simon also works with global thought leaders, media companies, media properties and creative artists to identify mobile revenue opportunities and shape their mobile strategies worldwide. In addition, he works closely with the GSM Association, the global governing body of the international mobile phone industry. The GSMA organizes the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
In May 2013, CTIA – The Wireless Association, based in Washington, DC, appointed Simon as its official Global Ambassador. The CTIA is North America’s principal wireless and mobile trade association, whose members include all the major telcos, device manufacturers and infrastructure industry players. Simon will help CTIA to expand its spheres of influence in North and South America, and in emerging markets and developing countries internationally.
Simon began his career co-founding the Zomba Group of music companies (including record label Jive Records) in London in the 1970s, building it into the world’s leading independent music and music publishing company. In the early ’90s, he came to the US as executive vice president of Capitol Records and Blue Note Records in Hollywood, and built EMI’s burgeoning new media business into a successful and significant global enterprise.
In 1997, Simon correctly predicted that mobile phones would become the indispensable voice/social networking-and-music companion for consumers and their increasingly mobile lifestyles. He created a start-up called Yourmobile and persuaded US and UK music publishers to embrace this new mobile medium by granting what would become the very first ring tone rights. Yourmobile became the first commercial ring tone company in the Americas, Europe, UK, Australia and Africa, and spurred a new and international mobile entertainment industry. By 2003, Vivendi Universal purchased Yourmobile, renaming it Moviso, where Simon remained as an advisor. Today, Simon is popularly known as the ‘Father of the Ring Tone.’
Between 2005 and 2009, Simon served as the mobile producer for three of the highest profile, live global broadcast events in recent history. Live 8, Bono & Sir Bob Geldof’s nine-city global concert, brought mobile connectivity to nine capital cities and an international television audience of over 800 million viewers. This enormous people-powered call-to-action resulted in the G8 countries reducing the debt of the world’s poorest nations. He also orchestrated the mobile component for Live Earth, Al Gore’s production that spanned 10 countries and brought impactful information about global climate change to a worldwide audience of over 500 million television viewers and online participants. In 2009, Simon also produced the mobile component for the 2008 TED Conference (www.ted.com) Prize-winning project Pangea Day, a global multi-platform broadcast featuring short films from international filmmakers. By integrating a mobile/SMS layer to all these worldwide events, Simon helped set the standard for integrating mobile technology as an essential element in global television and event broadcasting.
The influential trade publication Mobile Entertainment magazine named Simon as one of the world’s Top 50 Executives in Mobile Entertainment for 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010, and in 2007, he received its special award for Outstanding Contribution to the Global Mobile Entertainment Industry.
Internationally, Simon is known as an impactful and popular speaker on all aspects of mobile commerce and content. He has delivered keynote addresses at major international gatherings, including the annual Music Matters/Digital Matters conference (Singapore); South Asian Mobile Conference (Colombo, Sri Lanka); Music Matters India (Mumbai); Ria Novosti’s Future Media Forum Conference (Moscow); Presidential Innovation Conference (Moscow); Mobile World Congress (Barcelona); Pioneers Tech Festival (Vienna); TED Global (Oxford); Connected Creativity (Cannes); the World Copyright Summit (Brussels and Washington, D.C.); Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) annual conference; The Kofi Annan Centre for ICT Excellence (Accra, Ghana); MusExpo (Los Angeles); the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance conference (San Diego); Rutberg Wireless Influencers’ Conference (Palos Verdes, California); SXSW (Austin, Texas); and numerous other high-level speaking engagements around the world.
Currently, he serves on the boards of several companies, including Hungama Digital Media Entertainment (India’s major mobile content producer), and The World Summit Awards and World Youth Summit Awards – both subsets of the United Nations and its Millennium Development Goals. Simon is a board advisor to the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (San Diego, California), the global leader in the fast-growing wireless connected health industry, and he is Chairman Emeritus of the influential Mobile Entertainment Forum – Americas, which he founded. The MEF (www.mefglobal.org) is the global voice of the international mobile content industry.
Ralph Simon continues to travel the world on a relentless search for the latest in mobile and device innovation, with special emphasis on relevance to Europe, Africa, Asia & the Americas. He has formidable knowledge about ways to deliver mobile content, social broadcasting and entertainment. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the UK and is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in the US.