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Hungama to launch audio portal

Hungama Mobile, one of the largest aggregators of mobile content, is planning to launch an audio entertainment portal. The portal is a voice based platform and will be accessible via a short code on all operator networks.

Hungama Mobile, one of the largest aggregators of mobile content, is planning to launch an audio entertainment portal. The portal is a voice based platform and will be accessible via a short code on all operator networks.
“The audio entertainment portal has already been integrated on all operators and it will go live shortly,” said Albert Almeida, chief operating officer, Hungama Mobile.
Almeida believes that voice based services have a lot of scope mainly because of their universal appeal. “A person just needs to dial a number to access the service; there is no need for typing or literacy. This makes these services very powerful.”
Another voice based service offering from Hungama, the Jukebox, has been received well.
The service is already available with Airtel, Tata Docomo, Videocon and Reliance. With this service, users can dial in, subscribe and download songs. The USP of this service is that it integrates with social networking sites and hence allows users to publish 20 second clippings of songs to their social networking site.
Almeida says, “The customers are migrating to this service from other mobile services. The service is growing and with 3G coming, the same product could be a mobile video station”.
He adds, “Another service that is drawing a huge response is full song download with Vodafone. The service has generated huge business for Vodafone and in turn for us.”
In the coming years, Hungama expects mobile gaming to grow significantly. “We have made huge investments in mobile gaming and expect a lot to happen in this segment in the coming years. We are already seeing double digit growth in this segment and 3G would take it to a different level all together.”
However, even with 3G, music and movies will continue to be the major revenue generator. “Music and movies are part of our religion. Music will continue to be the driver only in newer forms. Right now, downloading high quality full songs is not the easiest experience,” opines Almeida.
Currently, caller ring back tones contribute 60-65 per cent to the VAS entertainment revenues of the industry and account for about 40-45 per cent of Hungama’s total revenues.
Almeida believes, “3G would give us the opportunity to monetise what we have. It would drive innovation and create newer apps which will increase consumption.”
He adds, “We are witnessing a significant change at Hungama. We look at ourselves as the content, technology and distribution company. We are now evolving into a product and managed services kind of company.”

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