Are voice portals making money? While they have greater reach because they’re not text based and offer localized content, the price of around Rs.6 per minute doesn’t really seem to ecourage usage. But something must be working for them: The Statesman reports that Airtel has launched a voice based local language portal in Orissa, called “Oriya Dhamal”. Interestingly, songs on offer are in “Oriya, English, South Indian languages, Hindi and Punjabi”.
Airtel has also launched Bubble Motion‘s voice based SMS Bubble Talk in Pune (source: BusinessLine) and North Maharashtra (source:Business Standard). To send, one dials * followed by the receivers number, and records a 29 second clip. The receiver dials *0* to hear the voice SMS. Older messages can be retrieved via IVR menus, accessed by dialing *1*. The SMS is priced at Rs.0.75 a minute. According to Yatish Meharotra, vice-president, sales and marketing, Bharati Airtel,
“Within the 15 days after an introduction of this voice SMS service in the Maharashtra and Goa circles, the number of users using this service has reached 1.5 lakh-