@TiEcon 2006: Mobisodes, Chhatisgarhi And Phat Chicks

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Day 2: The session on Digital and Mobile Entertainment promised much with representatives from across the industry:
Mahendra Swarup, Chairman of The Smile Interactive Technologies Group quoted subscriber numbers and outlined the opportunity in increasing the contribution of Value Added Services to total mobile revenue. He is bullish on Mobile since, as a medium, it is easier to handle: cable is still the wild wild west and DTH and IPTV are “contained”.
Manish Vij, Co-Founder of Quasar Online Media spoke about the amount of time 8-18 year olds spend in consuming media. For branded spaces, the opportunity is in social networks: Big Chill, a restaurant in Delhi has its own group on Orkut (ed: it’s one of many such spaces for restaurants and pubs). On YouTube, IIT students have uploaded the trailer for a film they’re making called Formula 69, and the news about it is spreading like wildfire. He feels that everyone’s prime time will be different and teenagers will now be called screenagers. The canvas, however, is yet to be painted – there are no regional or local services of note. Responding to a question later, he said that mobile is struggling to find the best mode of advertising.
Krishna Durbha, Head (VAS) for Reliance Communications Ltd segmented the mobile market into three parts – English, English aspirational, and local language. He said that the mobile space is personal, can be multilingual and is excellent as a medium for reinforcement. The most effective use of the medium, he feels, by using a pull strategy. He gave the example of Cadbury’s brand zone for checking exam zones. In case the person checking the result passed, page displayed on the mobile would be branded with Cadbury’s content and the slogan ‘Pappu Pass Ho Gaya’. They’ve used mobile for corporate caller tunes, lead generation and created sponsored zones for LG, Castrol, Amway and LML. Early lessons of Mobile advertising:
– Engage the customer and don’t force feed
– Engagement leads to interactivity
– Lead generation is simple and interesting
– Topical sponsorship works best
– Excellent source for market research using polling
Regarding local content, he said that

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