Zoom TV re-launches voice portal

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | February 02, 2010
Short duration audio clips from Zoom TV shows will be available to more than 500 million mobile phone users in India

Zoom TV, the Bollywood focused entertainment channel of the Times of India group, has re-launched its voice portal based on Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.

The portal, available on a short code (58888901), owned by Bennett, Coleman and Company Limited (BCCL), was first launched in 2008. At that time, it was mainly used as a platform for 'audiosodes', as full episodes of various Zoom TV shows such as Planet Bollywood, divided into various audio clips, were made available to consumers.

"In the revamped site, we will not upload the full episodes of the shows broadcasted on TV. In fact, a few selected audio clips of particular episodes or programmes will be made available. Short duration audio clips related to news, gossip, actors' quotes or interviews and movie reviews - pulled out from various Zoom TV programmes such as Planet Bollywood and RGV Grills - will be there," claims, Kirtan Mankad, head, digital, Zoom Entertainment Network.

The new version of the voice portal will have both fresh and archived content from Zoom TV. Audio content such as news, movie reviews and gossips will appear on the portal soon after the show is aired on the channel.

Currently, the revamped voice site has programming of about 45-60 minutes. Later, more hours of programming will be added.

The access to content on the revamped Zoom TV voice portal will be free as consumers will not be required to pay subscription fees to listen to audio clips. However, the phone calls routed to the voice site (58888901) will be priced higher than the normal call rates. The call rates on the voice portal will vary from Rs 5-10 per minute across different mobile operators.

The premium pricing of the call rates will be the main source of revenue for the voice site. As usual, a major chunk of revenue earned through the consumers' calls will be shared with the mobile operators. The company also plans to consider other revenue streams as well, such as sponsorship of content for its audio site.

Mankad indicates that the digital division of Zoom TV expects to earn up to 5 per cent of its revenue from the voice site.

The cost of running a voice portal, with 1 million phone calls of 3-5 minutes duration per month, is estimated at Rs 8-10 lakh.

The revamped portal will be marketed through online display and e-mail marketing. Network TV channels such as Times Now, ET Now and Zoom TV will also be utilised to drive consumers to the site.

Zoom TV also has a mobile Internet site, Mi.Zoomtv.in, where it posts news, photos and videos related to Bollywood.

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