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Cartoon Network makes comic books available on mobile

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | December 17, 2009
The kids' entertainment channel has launched the mobile version of its comic books

Cartoon Network has tied up with a Mumbai based mobile entertainment firm, Nazara Technologies, which will convert the print version of comic books related to characters such as Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, Johnny Bravo and Dexter, for mobile consumption.

The comic strips will be available for download on GPRS-enabled handsets for variable charges such as Re 1 for a day, Rs 10 for a week and Rs 30 for a month. The download facility will be accessible only to subscribers of Airtel, Idea, Reliance Mobile and Tata Docomo.

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Later, a downloadable application will also be launched, which will enable consumers to download a complete comic book.

"Mobiles and mobility are an integral part of a kid's lifestyle these days. About 63 per cent of kids use a mobile phone at least once a week in India, as per Cartoon Network's New Generations study," says Siddharth Jain, vice-president and deputy general manager, distribution and business operations, South Asia, Turner International India, in an official communiqué.

Although few cartoon character owners such as ACK Media, Raj Media and Diamond Comics have already extended their content to the mobile platform, and mobile operators such as Airtel and Tata Docomo have launched their dedicated comic portals, the mobile comic books market is still in its nascent stage.

According to an industry estimate, the size of mobile comic books market has not even touched the figure of Rs 1 crore as yet. Comic content owners usually have a 15-20 per cent of revenue sharing arrangement with mobile operators.

For the record, Airtel launched its dedicated mobile comic portal in October 2009 on the Airtel Live platform. It offers comic strips of more than 300 Indian and international comic characters such as Akbar, Birbal, Popeye and comic strips supplied by Amar Chitra Katha. Tata Docomo has a mobile portal called Comix on-the-go, which offers more than 2,000 comic titles related to characters such as Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh.