Convergence, the new media arm of NDTV Networks, has announced a free service on SMS in partnership with mobile technology company July Systems. NDTV will use July's trademark mobile Internet platform, Mi. The service, called MiSMS, will enable mobile phone users to access live multimedia content on mobile Internet via SMS.
Users can get the latest news stories, videos, stocks and cricket scores by sending an SMS to NDTV's short code. In return, they will get an SMS with a link which will lead them to the content on GPRS. The content is hosted on NDTV Active, NDTV's existing mobile portal. Users will be able to read complete news stories, download news videos, search for stock quotes and get cricket updates.
Reddy talked about Mobile 2.0, which, he said, refers to user-centric, personalised and live mobile content. Users also participate in the news portal by sharing a story with friends, writing a comment, participating in a poll, or rating a story.
Sanjay Trehan, chief executive officer of NDTV Convergence, says that in the next phase, users will be able to upload videos as well.
Trehan adds, "There is a shift of balance of power in the hands of the consumer. Now, the consumer is able to demand content instantly."
The content will be available for free except for the data access charges of the operator. July will provide ads targeted according to location, content and the profile of the user. Ads will be presented in the form of banners, videos and contextual text ads (based on the surrounding content). Ireland's tourism board, MakeMyTrip, American Express and Kingfisher are advertising on the mobile portal.
Speaking about the company's expectations from its mobile services, Trehan says, "We are targeting $1 million (Rs 4.3 crore) in revenue, which will comprise about 15 per cent of our total revenue."
Trehan tells afaqs! that NDTV Active receives about 15,000 visitors a day and the company hopes to increase that to 1,00,000 visitors in six months. He adds that NDTV Convergence is also launching "mobile specific products", which will be announced in the coming months.