We recently wrote about Mobi Worx Pvt. Ltd, a mobile content specialist that plans to provide users with free Value Added Services by showing them ads before providing the services.
In that analysis I mentioned that its key to incorporate the elements of Indian Culture such as cinema and cricket in order to hook users and drive revenue.
One has also seen the mobile phone market grow phenomenally in India in terms of reach and penetration (291 million mobile subscribers). In terms of revenue generation per customer, it currently stands at Rs. 300 per customer per month on an average which is not very promising. Mobile operators are thus looking at ways to boost revenues. Initially they did that through ringtones, wallpapers, quotes, updates etc. (they are still doing that) – now the focus is shifting to video ringtones, animation material, complete audio etc. (which is due to the increased penetration of high end mobile phones – we will try and get the exact figures for that) And its not surprising that the Bollywood paradigm is being used to leverage the revenue making potential of the newer content.
Dus Kahaaniyaan, Sanjay Gupta’s last film launched mobile related content including videos of dialogues, video ringtones, music videos, and the usual mix of wallpapers, caller tunes, ringtones etc. Many films have used the mobile platform to market their movies – but Dus Kahaniyaan seems to be one of the few who has tried to extend the experience beyond the usual wallpaper, ringtone, contest paradigm.
The key again is to package mobile content effectively and optimize it for mobile screens keeping in mind the screen size, audio quality , user environment, user attention span etc. Over time extensive market research will be done on these factors and there will be firms which will carve out specific niches which will then become more than niches once mobile content becomes a key revenue driver for service operators and marketers alike. One such firm in India is People Infocom (Mauj), which is optimizing content for Dus Kahaniyaan.
One needs to keep in mind that:
- Like wallpapers and ringtones etc, videos and animation will also become stale in a few years. So the key is to keep providing freshness – like making the process more interactive; possibly allow users to enact scenes in the movies on their mobile phones. Maybe even try and change the plot of the movie through games – script their own dialogues etc. That makes the project more ‘hookworthy’
- Mobile phone operators will thus need to update their hardware to support such services and subsequently their revenues. (Vodafone was down in most of Mumbai on a few months back – if they cant support voice how will they support interactive graphic based ‘heavy’ services?)
Leveraging mobile phones to create a branding experience for films is a smart strategy – there are possibilities for film makers to extend the brand of the film beyond the film itself eg. Games, clothing lines, chains etc – basically make the film a pop cultural phenomenon.