This year, Erika Mobley, Class of 1986, will address the graduating class. Erika’s background is in international copyright law; she began her career within the digital and music industry. She worked for the Recording Industry Association of America (R.I.A.A.), Palm, RealNetworks and Amazon.com in roles that expanded her expertise into global business strategy and marketing as well as anti-piracy law. Today, Erika leads business development and licensing for Apple’s App Store, the online location for new applications—from books and business through entertainment, games, finance and fitness—that are being developed for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Applications in the worlds of TV, music and movies are Erika’s responsibility. The App Store has been open for eight months and is now available in 77 countries; at its seven-month mark, downloads of applications, free and purchased, numbered 800 million. Over all areas, 25,000 applications are available for download. Prior to her current role, Erika developed global business initiatives in Australia and New Zealand as senior product marketing manager for iTunes.
Erika works with major properties such as NBC Universal and MTV; Sony and Warner Bros.; Dreamworks and Lucasfilm—along with all the major content providers that are developing new applications for the iTunes store. She provides developers with review and counsel, considering how to maximize the technological capabilities of the iPhone and iPod Touch, indicators of user interest, and global perspective. She partners with the iTunes editorial team to determine the best placement and category strategy for how and where the new apps will be located on the App Store (paid placement and advertising are not used on iTunes). A major aspect of her work focuses on global media brands; iTunes just launched in 17 new countries.
A loyal Milton Academy alumna, Erika was elected to the board of trustees in October 2008. She was a class agent, a member of the Head of School’s Council, and served as a panelist at Milton’s bicentennial celebration in 1998. Erika did her undergraduate work at Yale and earned her JD at the Georgetown University School of Law. She is keenly interested in the life and future of our students, and we are pleased she is willing to share her perspective with us on this important occasion.