“All lines are currently busy, please try later”.
That’s the message I got when I tried out Mobile operator Airtel’s newly launched music portal – Music Station. The Hindu reports that the portal gives consumers access to Airtel’s database of 10,000 songs in 17 regional languages. The access number, 57777 is toll free and the service costs Rs. 30 a month, with 100 minutes of free access. The songs cannot be downloaded, so it’s like a jukebox service, with favorites being tracked. Also noticed that the interactive voice response system (IVRS) has multiple language options – including Punjabi and Haryanavi, among others.
Harish Gandhi, Airtel Vice-President, (Value Added Services and New Product Development) says that they really haven’t found an ideal subscription model yet, and will try to make it affordable for the masses. This is similar to the “Mobile Radio” service launched by Reliance…at Rs. 30/month, both are still more expensive than Radio over FM (read FREE). I quite liked Tata Indicom’s idea for premium audio content, but how many Indicom subscribers are going to try that anyway?