Tuesday, January 24, 2006

News Channel Goes Mobile in India

E-Commerce News writes that Indian news channel Times Now "will put video news content on Reliance India Mobile cell phones in India, a potentially huge marketplace that has shown early demand for mobile video."

According to the article, the companies announced that "English-language Indian news programming for mobile phones will soon be offered to Reliance subscribers in the country, where cricket sports highlights and movie trailers have proven popular in early stages of the mobile video game."

Chetan Sharma at DataComm Research noted that the "Indian marketplace is heavily saturated with mobile phones and is known for readily adopting new technology. At the same time, it remains a cost-conscious market." Sharma also pointed out that "even if the content is compelling, pricing is more important to cell phone customers."

Pricing for the service is as follows:

Subscribers will be required to pay 3 rupees per day (7 US cents) to access Times Now content, or they may opt for a 25 rupees (56 cents)-per-month subscription. Video clips will be downloadable at 7-10 rupees (16-23 cents) per download. Users with streaming-capable handsets will be able to view streaming content in real-time at a price of 15 rupees (34 cents) per session.
Ovum analyst Roger Entner said, Times Now has decided to deliver the type of programming that "users want on mobile phones." He agreed that "India was an ideal test market for such a service, though he did not believe it to be a significant barometer for the success and/or failure of the mobile video content market overall."