Last updated : July 13, 2006
Promax/BDA India 2006 conference, Neeraj Roy, managing director and chief executive officer, Hungama, emphasised the significance of music, movies and entertainment in the adoption of various other media by the consumer. He explained how the consumer experience on the phone, as a whole, with respect to interface, design and marketing avenues is bound to increase with the advent of 3-G networks and new-generation handsets.
According to Roy, the stakeholders in the digital arena of entertainment with the mobile phone as an emerging medium, include handset manufacturers, mobile operators, various digital companies such as MSN, Google and Yahoo, movie and music artistes, studio and record labels, TV networks and some major players with growing interest in retail such as Starbucks Coffee, which has more than 11,000 retail outlets worldwide. Mobile operators such as Vodafone and China Mobile, reaching out to an immense assortment of 200 million and 300 million customers, respectively, are not just mere carriers of voice, but can cater to any format of digital content.
Because of design and mobility being added to digital content, entertainment has started getting adopted on the digital medium beyond e-mail and transactions in commerce. Consumers today are adopting music and movies much above their lifestyle. Citing an example of content based communication, Roy remarked, "Back in 1998, Windows Media Player was gaining popularity, among others, with users. The Quick Time Player adopted the measure of demonstrating its superior quality around the same time by giving the user a comprehensive content-based experience on its website by contacting the movie studios and uploading all the trailers of the new movies of the time. The result was an instant increase in traffic on the website for Quick Time Player. Thus, affinity with the content industry has become the key to grabbing attention today."
He continues, "A similar situation is being faced now by mobile operators. Of the three billion cell-phone users around the world today, 100 million users already have access to the 3G network, which enables access to content-rich entertainment such as music and movies."
Around 1.3 million downloads happen in India in the paid format, 65 per cent of which is music. Ringtones constitute a major percentage of this share in terms of music as of now. But with better quality networks and better handsets with larger memory space, there will be better acceptance of higher forms of mobile music on account of legacy. According to Roy, the music category is now getting into a genre from snaking to real entertainment and the entire aspect of discovery of content has become very relevant in the digital environment. For example, the Hutch campaign, which ran throughout the recent FIFA World Cup, showcased the quality of being able to download full-track music on the mobile phone.
A recent innovation in the category of music on the mobile phone has been the fingerprinting of music. In this technique, while a user is downloading his favourite genre of music, the system is intelligent enough to also download music with similar rhythm, tone and beats from around the world. Some 20-35 million units of content have already been fingerprinted by telecom operators around the world.
Because of the consumer multi-tasking today, Roy emphasised the significance of marketing and choosing innovative carriers to reach the audience with the desired accuracy.
Roy also highlighted the fact that movies, as a category, are the best form of personal entertainment on the mobile phone. While consumers in India are still sceptical about watching movies on a 2/2 screen as compared to a theatrical experience, Roy said this feature was going to get a tremendous boost in the near future with the advent of 3G and Bluetooth technology. To emphasise his point further, he referred to an example from Korea, where commuters get the option to attach their cell-phone to a wide screen in the back seat of a taxi and plug into their favourite movie while commuting.
Roy concluded with a recent animation application used by Hungama as a part of a promotional activity for the movie, 'Krrish'. With this new application, users can click a picture of a person with the phone, upload it on the network and then get it back with the 'Krrish' mask over it. He said the mobile entertainment industry is looking forward to a $100 billion opportunity in the coming few years.
© 2006 agencyfaqs!First Published : July 13, 2006