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UTV launches a music video channel on mobile TV

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | April 14, 2009
The video channel is an extension of its music videos portal and will be available through Idea Cellular, BSNL, MTNL and Vodafone

UTV is trying to create its space in the mobile TV market, which has more than one lakh active users in India and is estimated to reach one million users by the end of 2009.

The media company has launched a music video channel, called UTVatPlay on mobile TV, which is an extension of its online music portal, UTVatPlay.com.

UTV claims that it is the first music content related channel on mobile TV in India. It already offers its channel, Bindaas on the platform and plans to make available its business news channel, UTVi as well.

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For the uninitiated, mobile TV is a technology that enables consumers to watch live television content on their mobile phones or other mobile devices. A consumer needs a GPRS-enabled device to access mobile TV. There are five to six million active GPRS users in India.

To access mobile TV for the first time, a user has to send an SMS to the mobile operator, to get a WAP link. The consumer has to then click on the link and access a downloadable application, which will sit on the mobile device and will be available as an icon on the handset's menu.

Clicking this icon will open a window, which will provide icons of the TV channels available on the platform. The user can then select a channel to access the video content.

The music video channel from UTV will be available to Idea Cellular, BSNL, MTNL and Vodafone subscribers. In the first phase, it will offer more than 5,000 music videos, in Hindi, English, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bhojpuri and Marathi. Later, music videos in Malayalam, Bengali and Gujarati will also be added.

On the business model, T N Prabhu, chief executive officer, UTV New Media Ventures, UTV, tells afaqs!, "We are eyeing to earn revenue through a subscription-based model, instead of an ad-supported one."

Viewers can opt for pay per day or monthly subscription offers. To access UTVatPlay for a day, users have to pay Rs 10 - Rs 15 to view an unlimited number of music videos, unlimited times, for 24 hours. The monthly subscription fee for this access is Rs 30 - Rs 99.

UTV New Media Ventures expects more than 10,000 users to access the music channel in the coming months. It estimates to earn around 10 per cent of its total annual revenue from Mobile TV.

Usually, content providers on mobile TV have to share 75% of their subscription-based revenue with telecom operators.