afaqs!

Turner eyes 30 per cent growth in revenue from new businesses

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | October 25, 2010
In a bid to leverage new media of content distribution such as mobile, wireless and the Internet, Turner International India has adopted 'Anytime Anywhere' strategy

With traditional media limiting their reach, media companies are now looking at leveraging new media of content distribution. Joining the bandwagon, Turner International is the latest to attempt to tap distribution platforms such as mobile, wireless and the Internet, with its 'Anytime Anywhere' strategy.

Siddarth Jain, vice-president and deputy general manager, distribution and business operations, South Asia, Turner International India, says, "In recent times, the new chairperson and chief executive officer, Jeff Bewkes, has extrapolated his vision by diversifying the company from the ownership of infrastructure or pipes and concentrating on creating content which can be carried on any platform, regardless of whether the platform is owned or operated by us.

"Today, there is a plethora of devices available for the viewers, through which they can access content at any point of time - from anywhere. So, the consumption pattern of the viewer has changed completely, that is, he or she now decides the time span, selects the content as well as the viewing time. We at Turner want to be ready for the viewer anytime, anywhere."

While 95 per cent of the company's revenue still comes from the traditional business, 5 per cent of the revenue comes from new businesses. Turner is looking at 30 per cent growth in revenue from new businesses in 2010-11. Jain adds, "The traditional business, which comprises analog, digital and direct to home (DTH), account for 95 per cent of revenue and this also supports another revenue stream - advertising.

"New businesses, which include mobile, broadband (wireless/wireline), video on demand (VOD) (long form/short form), games, ringtones and wallpapers account for 5 per cent revenue. Nonetheless, the revenue from new businesses has grown by 15 per cent in 2009-10. It will grow by further 30 per cent in 2010-11."

Turner is working with many local players for creation of content as well as distribution of that content. The company has partnered with local technology companies such as Apalya Technologies, Jump and IXL, which work on various projects such as creation, aggregation and distribution.

Thus, going with the strategy of 'Anywhere Anytime', Turner has tied up with Hungama.com.

Troy Lobo, director, South Asia, wireless and interactive content development and distribution, Turner International India, says, "We create iconic content such as Ben10, Jonny Bravo and Flintstones. Having created such content, we realised that there are other people who are equally good in their field and this is where local tie ups come into play. Hungama is one of the many partners with whom we work. We have tied up with Hungama essentially to power our personalisation content, which include wallpapers, ringtones, animations and short form videos.

"Hungama will take our content and make it available across all the mobile operators - which is the first piece of the tie up. Next, it will take our content to the Internet, that is, on Hungama.com. Apart from this, we are also in the process of boosting the mobile store on catroonnetworkindia.com. We already have pogo.tv, where kids can buy content through SMS. The last part is to enhance our existing relationship with Nokia and Sony by embedding our application customised for the Indian market in the handsets."

According to Turner, new platforms such as mobiles and the Internet - be it wireless or wireline - are going to be the next 'Big' thing in the entertainment industry. As per Lobo, with 8 million handsets being added every month, soon, India will lead the charts.

As for DTH, by 2015, there will be 45 million households under the umbrella of DTH services - making India one of the largest DTH markets. The size of the mobile gaming market is Rs 560 crore, as per IAMAI, and the size of the Internet gaming market is $26 million, which is growing rapidly. Furthermore, the market for wall papers, ringtones and videos is valued at Rs 1650 crore; this, too, is growing at a good rate. With all these sectors poised to grow at considerable rates, Turner will be ensuring a good presence.

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