Fetish For Religious Mobile Content (Why Not? There Is A Market)

Wall Street Journal: The Journal has a nice story on mobile content business in Asia and it has a generous mention of India too. There are a couple of things of note:
One is Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple gets some 70,000 SMS prayers every week. The temple has a tie-up with Mauj Telecom for SMS prayers. Operators charge four cents per message and share the revenue with People Infocom, which owns Mauj, and the temple. It’s not a money spinner yet, but Arun Gupta, CEO, Mauj, says it helps “the company advertise other products like ring tones, games and wallpaper for cellphones — which bring in most of the revenue”.
Mauj had also started a service for Muslim worshippers called qibla, which enables a cellphone to display in which direction Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, lies as well as send an alert for the five daily calls to prayer. It is available for a one-time fee of $1.27. The service is expected to generate $100,000 in revenue for the current fiscal year for the company.
Nazara Technologies, which has mobile rights to cricket stars like Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, also launched an application which helps users “to keep count of how many times they chant a mantra, or a hymn to one of 18 Hindu gods”. It already has some 100,000 users who have paid $2.16 each for unlimited use of the service, while an additional 30,000 pay a monthly fee of 66 cents. This brings in a total of $238,000. And the total company revenue was $2.5 million in 2005.