It pays to be innovative. Hindi movie channel SET MAX got a first-hand experience of this age-old adage when it launched its ringtone service.
Tushar Shah, vice-president, marketing and commercial, SET MAX says, "Innovations and creativity has always been a part of SET MAX β" be it Extra Innings or Extra Shots. But this time, an innovative idea was also backed by a revenue stream. However, being innovative was certainly our first motive and revenue was only a by-product.β
Set MAX launched this service on December 4 and the response has been quite encouraging. On an average, the service gets 5,000-6,000 downloads everyday. Shah says, "On the very first day, around 6,500 Singtones were downloaded through our mobile code 2525. And in the last 13 days, we have got around 60,000 downloads.β
When asked to give details on the revenue earned, Shah declined to share details. "The revenue sharing is as per general industry norms. From the users' perspective, the service provider charges Rs 7 for a normal ringtone and Rs 10-15 for a polyphonic ringtone. For a truetone (which has the actual song as ringtones and not the music), the charges are even higher. However, the charges differ from one cellular service provider to another.β
Shah adds, "Ringtone is a commodity which largely depends on impulse buying. So during the telecast of the movie or while a song is being played, a pop-up is visible on the screen which invites users to download ringtones. So while we stimulate this desire or impulse among users to purchase the ringtones, we also fulfill the same.β
When asked about how MAX Singtones are different from other services, Shah says, "While the technology remains the same, we offer a bigger basket of ringtones with a mix of both old and new Hindi songs, whereas other services mainly offer recent hits.β
The MAX downloads offers ringtones on all popular songs from movies which are telecast on the channel. Although Shah did not disclose the exact number of songs available on the service, he said, on an average, two-three songs are selected from each movie aired on SET MAX.
Talking about the strategy behind launching this service, Shah explains, "MAX stands for attitude, innovation and creativity. In a way, ringtones also stands for attitude as mobile users like to flash the unique ringtone s/he is usingβ
Do ringtone downloads also translate into more viewership for the channel? Shah says, "There isn't any direct link. At the same time, Singtones certainly increases the brand recall of SET MAX, and this in turn also helps us eventually garnering more viewership.β
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