Mobile VAS 2008: Intelligent box races ahead of the idiot box

By , agencyfaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | March 05, 2008
At the IAMAI Mobile VAS 2008, mobile entertainment was pegged to be the next big wave in the digital revolution

At the & #BANNER1 & # IAMAI Mobile VAS 2008, organised by OnMobile, huge emphasis was laid on mobile entertainment. Pegging it as the next big wave in the digital revolution, Rajjat Barjatya, managing director, Rajshri Media, said the intelligent box, by which he meant mobile phones, was taking over from the idiot box (television).

Viren Popli

Rajjat Barjatya

Rajiv Hiranandani
However, "mobile entertainment is still very young in India", said Viren Popli, vice-president and head, mobile entertainment, STAR TV. Though the current number of handsets is growing from 230 million to about 400-500 million, it is not known fully who will consume the information and how.

"The growth of the mobile Internet is creating an opportunity for media companies to start their own ventures," said Rajiv Hiranandani, country manager, Mobile2Win. Hiranandani spoke about the large revenue generating prospects of mobile entertainment. The media is recognising the potential that is available in connecting with more than 270 million wireless consumers, he added.

Various companies that have successfully taken to mobile entertainment are Google, Fox News and CBS Mobile. Rajshri Media too is gung-ho about mobile entertainment. Barjatya specifically talked about the mobile episodes that Rajshri has produced. "Ring tones," he said, "is a derivative of Bollywood music or some previously recorded music. What mobile entertainment needs is content that is specifically made for it." Since the mobile device has taken over the population in terms of accessibility and convenience, Barjatya said it has become imperative to create content for the mobile.

As a solution, Hiranandani suggested that it wasn't always necessary to create new content. "If one looks at one's target correctly and repackages content, it will still work for you," he said. An example he cited was of how polyphonic ring tones are still a rage in smaller towns.

All in all, it was concluded that mobile entertainment was here to stay and forward is the only direction it can take.