On-demand music streaming or downloadable numbers maybe nothing new to users of Internet. However, providing a channel of exclusive, in-house shows aimed at a certain audience, is a novelty that rediff.com is banking on through its new subscription-based Internet radio service.
Called Rediff Radio, the service was officially launched on March 3, 2004, with the beta version on since January 26 this year. Targeted at non-resident Indians, primarily, the Indian-American, the service, according to Jasmeet Singh Gandhi, vice-president, strategic services, rediff.com, is aimed at fulfilling the need for information and entertainment from the sub-continent. "We have around 6 lakh to 8 lakh unique visitors from the US alone," he says. "It makes sense for us to target the Indian-American community," he adds.
The service has two channels - 1 and 2 - devoted to exclusive programming and on-demand genre-based music respectively. Channel 1 has a four-hour programming block with a mix of RJ-hosted shows, interview-based programmes, countdowns, as well as cricket shows. A unique initiative on Channel 1 is the radio extension of Rediff's Matchmaker channel, broadcast on Sundays at 6.30 pm.
Channel 2, on the other hand, has exhaustive play-lists across 30 categories to satiate the need of listeners for popular music. Built-in features such as generation of fresh play-lists, non-duplication of numbers as well as weekly addition of new songs makes the service user-friendly, points out Gandhi.
Rediff Radio is the fifth after Rediffmail Pro, Plus and Mobile and Rediff Matchmaker to be launched by the company in the online subscription space, and, according to Gandhi, the plan is to convert people, who come on board to sample the product, into full-time users and subscribers. "On an average," he says, "we have about 550-600 people sampling the product every day, which is a healthy count."
Fee-based revenue services, which include e-commerce, online subscription-based services and SMS-based services, contributed almost 40 per cent to the company coffers for the quarter ended December 2003 from India. Advertising revenues still make up the bulk - about 60 per cent - that the company is keen on reversing to reduce dependence on advertising.
On Rediff Radio, subscribers will be charged an amount of $4.95 per month or $11.95 per quarter, and, according to Gandhi, increasing the number of hours of programming, will depend on consumer demand. "We are keeping ourselves flexible," he says. "But what the listener demands is critical," he adds. © 2004 agencyfaqs!