Archive for Radio

Marching to different beats

Posted in India, Internet, Social networking with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2008 by manuscrypts

I read an article today on LiveMint, which deals with creating UGC for TV and Radio. Well, for starters, I think its already being done. The polls, the debates etc on news channels, and more importantly, the reality shows, are all user generated content. Of course, the packaging differs because unlike the net, time is also a factor on these platforms. 24 hours vs what content to put there.

It also took me back this post, where I’d talked about the relevance of mass media to pure play internet entities. In a warped sense, I’d agree with the article that in a true convergence era, a medium like the internet, which has already absorbed user participation as one of its tenets, would play a larger role in shaping media consumption. So much so, that going forward, I’d bet heavily on an entity like Instablogs, which would find it easier to adopt to platforms like the television or radio. Yes, they got funded too, isn’t that just awesome?

Which also brings me to another layer of thought, something I’ve touched upon earlier, if mass media entities want to test out the wild wild web and the currently hot social media scene, and what it could do for them, what is the better way of doing it – creating their own scene or leveraging existing popular platforms. I came across examples of both kinds today.

While NYT is perhaps the best newspaper website in the world, it also plays a bit on social media (check out this facebook app). And today I read about the partnership it had entered into with LinkedIn. LinkedIn users will now get their industry related news from the relevant sections of the NYT site, and these news will have a share option. I think that’s an absolutely great way for LinkedIn to give a good value add to its users, and also stimulate conversations and for NYT, it creates a lot of relevance to the user, and will increase the website’s pull. That’s NYT’s way of leveraging a relevant social business network.

The other thing that I came across is Radio City’s new website. (thanks to @thej) I haven’t done a complete tour yet, but it seems like they are primarily aiming at build communities there – a section called ‘Friends of Music’ has blogging, groups, finding colleagues(?!) and catching up with others attending gigs. In fact, the profile is also very orkut/facebook, and shows options for picking friends based on geography/music taste/school/workplace. Yes, i cringed at the last two too! It also has a calendar with some events already updated, and even has a karaoke section.  There is also an option to upload videos (upto 20MB) In addition, it attempts a Yahoo Launch by allowing you to create your own station by adding tracks. But I think it is also a way to take ownership of the music space – there is a musicopedia, a lyrics finder, a music news reporter and so on, which aims at making this the one stop resource for music in India. Yes, you can also listen to popular tracks, and stations created by users/ pre packaged ones (eg. KK, Alka Yagnik, though the content in this is limted, as of now). In essence, a decent effort, for trying the music ownership strategy, though from a new media perspective, I’d have liked more focus and efforts on podcasts (like Big FM), a talk show platform, better forums etc, instead of all that work on the orkut style social networking.(classmates and colleagues)

While I’d usually go with leveraging existing social media, i think  a part of Radio City’s route does have its benefits, given the popularity of music and Bollywood in India, and its potential for creating communities especially with the context that Radio City offers. What they do beyond this would be the really interesting part.

until next time, tuned in


Posted in Brand, India with tags , , , , , on March 10, 2008 by manuscrypts

In this great land where virginity does command a premium, Richard Branson does a tango with Tata Teleservices to offer Virgin mobile to the ever growing Indian mobile subscriber population. The mechanics of the partnership has been explained quite well here. For the lazybums, Virgin is globally a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) i.e. it buys spectrum time from operators and then sells it under its own brand name. Thats not allowed in India, so Branson said Tata. Its good for Tata Indicom because even with  (or should i say specially because of) Kajol aunty, the youth haven’t quite taken to Chindicom.

Virgin has launched with a dhamaka offer of paying 10p/minute to the customer for the incoming call, which can be used to avail of other Virgin services. Many publications here had a frontpage takeover with a red ‘Zara Hatke’. An offer, they say, will make the competition see red. Me thinks maybe those Eveready guys should get into OEM services for Virgin batteries. Gimme red? 😉

Now that we have the facts out of the way, lets get back to the scope of the blog. The weekend also saw a liberal splashing of the new TVC. Though it reminded me of an old forward, it was done extremely well, and was definitely ‘zara hatke’. It had spunk, a positioning that steered well clear of the regular mobile service provider brand ads and an execution that will easily grab eyeballs. Can’t seem to find the TVC anywhere, so lemme know in case you guys suddenly discover it on you tube or someplace else. They’ve also (in association with Channel V) shot the short movie Andaaz Apna Very Hatke. If you are a Neha Dhupia fan, you can read about her special appearance in it here. Branson and Dhupia almost got themselves a Richard Gere-Shilpa Shetty there.

While the Indian mobile market is already in a highly developed state in terms of at least number of players, i think there’s still room left for clever positioning and lots of ground to cover on services being offered. Virgin Mobile interests me because of two of its other partnerships in India

· a minority stake in Fever 104 FM (with HT in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai). At this point only Big has entities in these two hot but diverse entertainment platforms. This is tiny in comparison, but i think, relevant.

· the venture with Studio 18 and UTV Software in publishing, TV, gaming and film. The potential of the last two items on a mobile platform is phenomenal.

If they are able to evolve some kind of synergy on multiple platforms, we’d have some really fun Virgin services.

until next time, lets talk about virgin territories 🙂

The Next Big Thing

Posted in Brand, India, Social networking with tags , , , on October 23, 2007 by manuscrypts
No, this is not the major announcement about an awesome new service I’ve developed, thats later..sigh
This is about the Ambani kind of Big, and its amazing to see what i consider a perfect duplication of the strategy that made an oil, petrochemical conglomerate. Backward integration. Only ADAG is not stopping at that. Its going horizontal too. Its putting its fingers in every pie that has some stake in the entire big pie of communication and entertainment – be it content or distribution.
Lets talk about distribution first. They have a nationwide CDMA serivce provider, hell, even a GSM provider in a few markets. Smart!! They will roll out a DTH operation very soon, and they already have the retail version of broadband up and running. Its only a matter of time before they make a big impact in the consumer broadband space, and I’m not even taking the ubiquitous datacard into consideration. Which basically means they have 3 platforms – mobile, internet and television neatly tied up. A small bylane in distribution – Big FM, Big Flicks. FM is not that small, and Flicks is a good start to a click and mortar way of functioning. In fact so is FM, because a friend who works there recently sent me a link to their podcast!!
Now the meat – content. You want movies, they got Adlabs. You want music, they got Big Music. Oh, you’re that new gen animal that thinks UGC and social networking is cool, welcome to Big Adda.
I’d like to think that somewhere i have seen a fragment of the big picture that the younger Ambani has in his head. The more i see it, the more i admire it, coz he really thinks big.
Meanwhile, if/when they integrate from a brand communication perspective, they have a perfect family friend who can be ambassador. Yup, you guessed it, Big B 😉
and i bid adieu thinking zapak is a whole new ballgame 😀