afaqs!

Viacom18 launches three mobile products under its own brands

By Satrajit Sen , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | May 24, 2013
The products include an IVR-based voice chat called MTV Gupshup, a mobile content shop called Vh1 Hub and a game for teenage girls called Stardom Saga.

Viacom18 has launched three new mobile products under three of its biggest kids and youth-oriented brands in the country - MTV, Vh1 and Nick. The products include an IVR-based voice chat called MTV Gupshup, a mobile content shop called Vh1 Hub and a game for teenage girls called Stardom Saga.

VH1 Hub

Rajneel Kumar

For MTV Gupshup, the company has tied up with chat service platform Altruist to provide an opportunity to make friends anywhere in India. The service is available in 13 Indian languages and users can change their preferred language settings at any given point. The chat service will enable searches through various options like friendship, flirting and serious relationship.

Speaking to afaqs! about the idea behind launching the voice chat service, Rajneel Kumar, VP and business head, digital media, Viacom18, says, "Chat on mobile value added services (MVAS) is a big market and is a popular service among the youth. There is an absence of a branded player in it. Thus we wanted to tap that space with MTV, which is synonymous with youth-oriented content in the country." The service will be charged to customers through the operators.

Vh1 Hub is a mobile content shop for international music. Powered by Techzone, Vh1 Hub lets the fans download mobile content like songs, ringtones, caller back tunes, videos and wallpapers by logging on to the Vh1 Hub WAP/mobile site or website. The app is however available only for Android, BlackBerry and Symbian platforms and is again charged through operator billings to the consumers.

"International music is driven strongly on TV and when it comes to music downloads and CRBT tunes in India, operators mostly push Indian music. Consumers are now-a-days looking to consume more music on mobile. Hence we wanted to extend the TV experience on the mobile device by increasing the discovery of good international content on this platform," informs Kumar.

The third product is a mobile game launched under Nickelodeon's newly launched channel Teen Nick. Called Stardom Saga, the game is available on iPhones, iPads and Android phones and will be aimed at teenage girls. The object of the game is to become a celebrity star and the users are given virtual currency to manage. They can dress up their avatars at the virtual salon and boutique, hire an agent to represent them, give auditions for movie roles and earn some quick coins from commercials. At higher levels they get to enjoy the life of a movie star by dining at the best restaurants, holidaying at exotic locations and getting featured on magazine covers. The game will be monetised through ads.

According to Kumar, branded products in the MVAS eco-system enables the company to cash in on an added stream of good advertising revenues and also tap into the content needs of the Indian youth. Out of the three products, only Stardom Saga is monetised through advertisements and the other two will be charged on usage to the consumer.

Viacom is promoting the products through TVCs on its network channels, and through advertisements on social networks and its existing mobile network.

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