Posts filed under ‘india’

A digitizing Bollywood? India’s first serial for mobiles

pp002bollywood-kaho-naa-pyaar-hai-posters.jpgJu (MindShare, Regional team) writes:

Hope you had a great refreshing holiday like I did and wishing everyone a superb year ahead!

I opened my inbox to find an interesting article on the distribution of content through mobile phones in India, forwarded to me by Alefiyah in MindShare Singapore who gave us the “Bollywood on Mobile” story last year. The article on the Hindustani Times, titled “India’s first serial for mobiles next month” featured another example of how Bollywood is capitalizing on digital technology to bring entertainment to the masses. Rajshri Productions, a major Bollywood production house, has created a “90-episode series, with three minutes per episode, … in the humour genre” offered to the audience via the mobile phone.

With the high penetration rate of mobile phones in the region, other developing countries in Asia-Pacific might want to keep an eye on India to see how the landscape for digital content and platforms will unfold. In the developing world, it is likely that India will lead in terms of creative ideas on producing content for new media like the Internet, mobile phones and mp3 players, given the population’s uniquely insatiable appetite for Bollywood fare.

The article reminds me a recent chat I had with a Thai security guard servicing one of my friend’s apartment in Bangkok. The guard (apparently an early adopter of trends, as my friend tells me) was trying out DTAC’s (a Thai mobile network operator) new GPRS promotion plan that offered a FREE mobile-internet-friendly Nokia phone bundled with 20 hours of downloads for 99 baht (about 3 USD). He was happily connected to the Internet with his phone through the mobile internet browser Opera, but he had one problem. He had no idea where to go to find any kind of entertainment on the Internet! I have a feeling he’d go for a Thai version of the mobile comedy series launching in India…

Read India’s first serial for mobiles next month on Hindustani Times. Thanks Alefiyah!

January 2, 2008 at 11:22 am 13 comments

India’s Colgate MaxFresh Does Internet Sampling

Prabvir (MindShare, Delhi) writes:

We largely look at the web to get our brand presence & offer that brand interaction that many of us talk about. But very few brands/products are willing to take the web on to the next level of product sampling. If you have been tracking the larger part of trends as reported by Trendwatching; this is the era of “Trysumers” – consumers who like to try the product out before they buy it.


Colgate has just done exactly that by offering users a chance to sample their new product offering collage MaxFresh – Citrus Blast.

I hope more products in this category consider this approach.

April 12, 2007 at 5:24 am 2 comments

Bollywood on mobile


Alefiyah (MindShare, Singapore) writes:

Bollywood films will now be made available to all, on mobile phones. Nothing can be more potent than this combination of films and mobile phones – both growing at a significant pace in India and the South Asia Region.

In a recent launch in Barcelona, Spain on Feb 12th 2007, two short films “Zahir” & “Matrimony” were premiered for the mobile medium. These films are part of feature film “Dus Kahaniyaan” by film maker Sanjay Gupta, featuring ten short stories and starring more than 20 leading Bollywood actors.

A press release in mentions:

The Bollywood Mobile Initiative, is driven by Roamware, the global leader in roaming and mobile connectivity solutions; Hungama Mobile, the world’s largest aggregator, developer and publisher of Indian entertainment and Bollywood content; Sanjay Gupta, a leading Bollywood director; and the GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association for mobile operators.

“Hungama Mobile is the only company in the world that has created a mobile and digital distribution platform for Bollywood content in over 30 countries. Today it runs a dedicated channel with networks such as SingTel, O2, Maxis, MTN, Telis etc with over 70 operators and publishers worldwide.”

The World’s largest film industry – Bollywood – produces over 1000 films a year, and is also one of the fastest growing entertainment segments. It has an appeal across, both the 150 Mn mobile phone users of India, as well as markets across continents. It is dubbed in over 35 languages worldwide and has made it to the top 10 charts across markets viz. USA, UK, Germany, Australia, Singapore and South Africa.

More than 3.6 billion admission tickets are sold each year, across the world and now Hungama Mobile and Roamware will take this to some 2.5 billion mobile screens.”

A news article on, states:

Hungama Mobile, which has the exclusive rights to 70% of Bollywood content for mobile devices, has recently signed a deal to use a video codec called Mobiclip, developed by Actimagine, to deliver 24fps video to mobile phones.

The technology is designed to not drain batteries or overload the mobile’s processor.

The Bollywood movies will be released in various markets across the world on memory cards through handset manufacturers and retailers; they will also be available through Hungama’s website

One of the Leading dailies of India, “The Hindu”, in an article explains:

… that the technology that helped push the movie content to the mobile handset was “Media Call” — designed to enable phone users to seamlessly `talk, look, listen and share” a variety of multimedia content. It was developed by Roamware’s Indian engineers at its development centres in Mumbai and Gurgaon, near Delhi.

Nokia, coincidentally, has announced a contest in India to create short films for mobile phones. Well timed!

March 2, 2007 at 4:24 am 1 comment

Australian bank invents iPodinomics


Paul (MindShare, Bangkok) writes:

The famous Big Mac Index, developed by the Economist Magazine over 20 yrs ago, now has a new challenger in the form of the Ipod. Burgernomics is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity, the notion that a dollar should buy the same amount in all countries.

The people at Commenwealth Securities in Australia believe that their IPod Index is superior to the Big Mac index for a number of reasons. Read more here: The CommSec iPod Index.

Here’s how Asia compares:

CommSec iPod nano index, 2 gigabytes, US dollars, January 2007

Brazil $327.71
India $222.27
Sweden $213.03
Denmark $208.25
Belgium $205.81
France $205.80
Finland $205.80
Ireland $205.79
UK $195.04
Austria $192.86
Netherlands $192.86
Spain $192.86
Italy $192.86
Germany $192.46
China $179.84
Korea $176.17
Switzerland $175.59
NZ $172.53
Australia $172.36
Taiwan $164.88
Singapore $161.25
Mexico $154.46
US $149.00
Japan $147.63
Hong Kong $147.63

February 13, 2007 at 2:34 pm 1 comment

MTV Korea teams up with multimedia portals

Ju (MindShare, Regional team) writes:


We see media fragmenting everday, in the multitude of delivery platforms (mobile phones, MP3s and other personal media players, video sites) and the increasingly diverse content, such as the “Narrowing Divide in the English news space” in India.

What happens next? With so much choice for content and so many ways to consume it, it is logical to assume that wired consumers will subconsciously desire a simpler way to manage the bits and pieces of content floating around them. This is where the bigger, more familiar brands like MTV can step in, and has just done so with their new offering in Korea, MTView.


From MTV Networks Korea’s press release, February 12th:

MTV Networks Korea has teamed up with four leading web sites and portals in Korea: Bugs, Empas, and Pandora TV, to launch an unparalleled multimedia network platform called MTView, creating an ultimate destination for Korean consumers to access and view a wide-range of MTV-branded and other original content online.

MTView, an extended offering of MTV BOOMBOX’ customizable on-demand music and entertainment broadband and mobile community platform, is the latest free of charge multimedia video sharing network service offered by an unprecedented alliance of diverse web services and content providers in Korea. With an estimated of 15 million online viewing streams and a potential reach of 23 million registered members, MTView is expected to be the largest video content portal in Korea giving access to 69.4 % of Korea’s internet users to MTVN entertainment and other compelling content offered by our partners.

With over 100 music videos being uploaded to the platform daily, consumers are given on-demand access to a vast library of content including music videos, MTV-branded award shows such as MTV Video Music Awards and MTV Europe Music Awards as well as hit shows such as Pimp My Ride, Sunny Side, Punk’d and The Hills. Alongside with pre-released music videos and exclusive MTV-branded international shows never shown on MTV Korea, MTView will also feature wide-ranging user-created content from Pandora TV, more music videos and music-related videos from Bugs, the latest in news and entertainment/lifestyle information from and a web search service provided by Empas.

In the next phase, MTView will upgrade its service with additional functions, allowing internet users to customize and share videos across multiple platforms with each other through a social network video sharing service encompassing videoblogs, instant messaging and user-created content online viewing.

Commenting on the partnership, Luke Kang, Managing Director of MTV Networks Korea, said, “The launch of MTView marks a ground breaking partnership in a series of cross platform initiatives spearheaded by five leading media companies in the market. This digital offering not only enables us and our partners to intensify our connections with Korean consumers, it will also give us a strong competitive advantage to stay ahead of technology and user trends in the market.”

“The demand for quality video content is growing every day” Jihee Nam, Vice President, Digital Media, MTV Networks Korea said, “MTView is here to provide a first class service through a unique partnerships between MTV, the world’s leading broadcaster, and four partners specialized in music, search service, news and user-generated content websites, to further enhance the rapid changing entertainment needs and content interests of Korea’s internet users.”

MTV BOOMBOX is a comprehensive online entertainment destination utilizing state of the art technology across online and mobile platforms, providing Korean consumers a robust digital community featuring local and international MTV programming on-demand, a wealth of user-generated content and a vast library of local and international music video and audio downloads. MTV BOOMBOX launched in May 2006, marking the first MTV-branded broadband network in Asia and the first video-based music community site to launch in Korea.

Celebrating the launch of MTView, Korea’s latest girl band Wonder Girls from MTV Korea’s reality show “MTV Wonder Girls”, will be giving their first live performance at the MTV studio in Seoul on 13 February 2007. Viewers can check out the … websites and stand a chance to catch the girls playing live.”

The book MTV Collections of Cool Asia has identified the emergence of “Asian Art Collectives”, where individuals and small businesses come under one collective banner, creating more visibility and attention, such as The Asylum in Singapore, and The Click Project in Malaysia. With MTView as example, it seems the concept of “collectives” can also be applied at a macro-level, with media owners or brands teaming up with high-traffic partners.

The way I see it, it’s like identifying the universe that your target consumer lives in and creating your own branded galaxy within that.

February 13, 2007 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

Global economic power will shift to the East

David (MindShare Thailand) writes:

Three links to items about the other Big Switch – the unremitting eastward shift of global economic power, which Goldman Sachs predict could lead to the Indian economy overtaking first the UK’s within 10 years and then the USA’s by mid-century. The two Big Switches are inseparable.

“Indian economy to overtake UK”

” Multinationals lead India’s IT revolution”


“Globalisation shakes the world”


February 3, 2007 at 2:58 pm 1 comment

Kids call the shots at India’s Hungama TV


Alefiyah (MindShare Singapore) writes:

The convergence in media, while reducing the world to a “global village”, has not lost it’s local flavour. In fact, talks on consumer participation and emancipation are only more in the area of a stronger local opinion emerging.

One of the leading kids channel in India – Hungama Television, had on its consultant board a team of captains – kids from different states of India, who gave their opinions on the content and programming of the channel. The channel took this important step to fine tuning its programmes, altering programme slots and providing relevant content for its audience:

In a 2004 interview of Purnendu Bose, COO of Hungama TV on the launch of UTV’s new kids channel, Hungama:

“In India, all kids channels are international ones. We wanted to create a ‘made in India’ channel that our kids can call their own. Hungama will bridge the need for an Indian kids channel and UTV’s expertise in childrens programming. This will be the first such channel with localised content and we’ll have the first mover advantage. Our differentiator has to be a sustainable one, that’s why our unique positioning is ‘of kids, for kids and by kids’.”

According to practice is all set to continue as Hungama TV has launched its annual Captains’ Hunt for the third year in a row… the hunt would focus on identifying 10 `Future Leaders of India.’ Last year, the focus was on talent-spotting while this year, it’s on “smartness” and “brightness,”

Consumer participation and creativity is fascinating. The greater the movement to democracy within media and marketing services, the more the acceptability of products and ideas by the people, and the higher their contribution. It’s the way people are re-defining their world and customizing it. It’s also the way marketers are beginning to encourage this trend that points to the way our world is evolving.

The latest December issue of talks about this cashing in on creativity by consumers and not mere soul satisfaction ventures. This is serious business:

“GENERATION C(ONTENT) is joining GENERATION C(ASH). If consumers produce the content, if they are the content, and that content brings in money for aggregating brands, then revenue and profit-sharing is going to be one of 2007’s main themes in the online space. It’s not like brands will have a choice: talented consumers are going to be too sought after to remain satisfied with thank you notes. Get ready for an avalanche of revenue sharing deals, reward schemes and sumptuous gifts aimed at luring creative consumers.”

While this fascinating partnership has yet to hit it off in Asia in a big way, we have the rough formations of the system in hand. This is largely in the area of Media and content and less in the trusted domain of product development. We may find this global trend of consumer participation taking Asia in a sweep and have only to wait and watch as the game catches on.

January 8, 2007 at 10:19 am 1 comment

Sunsilk India ‘co-creates’ with Gang of Girls


Alefiyah (Mindshare Singapore) writes:

From FMCG = Faster-Moving Content Giants?, can FMCG now also stand for Faster-Moving Community Groups?

Log on to to fathom the growing power of blogging and community in India. The move by Sunsilk India to jump onto the digital medium is a step towards handing of baton to the consumers, as The Big Switch gathers strength. It answers a simple consumer need to belong and share – “Girl Bonding”.

To provide a brief background, the site was launched in June 2006 through a complete 360 communication channel plan, for the college girls of India. It hosts an array of vibrant, exciting content (credits to our print and online media partners) and is rooted in consumer insights.

What started out as a “consumer insight led site” is today a “consumer response driven site”, and is picking up momentum. Consumer feedback propels the content, look and feel, and nature of activities. With thousands of registrations a day, and a registration base of 350,000 since mid-year 2006, this is meeting consumer acceptance. There are also more than 26,000 registered ‘gangs’ now.

Some of the myriad opportunities which lie ahead – a nucleus site to aid understanding of the target segment…the single most effective channel to reach the target…direct consumer feedback and advice on product development, campaign development…a movement towards “co-creation”.

The brand has seen results, in off-takes as in perceived value, without a single promotional offer on the site.

Tomorrow, consumers can take over the site completely … run it as they rule it today.

Our team – Unilever India, JWT and Mindshare – has enjoyed every moment, from conception to launch, of the site and is thrilled by its growth.

We welcome your views on it. Can FMCG marketers hand over the reigns to the consumer?

Note: Flip through “Future of Competition: Co-creating Unique Value with Customers” by C.K. Prahlad and Venkat Ramaswamy. This book explores the growth in consumer power over multiple cases.


December 19, 2006 at 10:22 am 1 comment

India gets flatter: Indian Movie Distribution


Tushar (GroupM India) writes:

I was at my brother’s place this Diwali- he is posted in place Mandsaur, located on Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan border. Mandsuar is disctrict head quarter with approx 100,000 population. If you are familiar with India, you know that Mandsaur will not even figure in India’s top 100 cities.

Traditionally, Diwali has been considered very important period for movie releases and this year also DON (directed by Farhan Akhtar and remake 80’s blockbuster DON) was getting released. Mega movies releases approx 200 prints as each print costs Rs 60-70,000 and distribution limited to mini-metros.

Only two-three cities ( Bhopal, Indore and maybe Gwalior) in the entire Madhya Pradesh will come under this category. Surprisingly, DON was getting released on first day at Mandsaur. A bit more exploration and visit to the cinema hall led me to the discovery that much discussed digital distribution of movies is reality in India and there are more than 500 operational cinema halls.


The Cinema hall, Shreeji Chitra Mandir- MandSaur , is part of UFO moviez network.  The cinema hall owner is very happy with arrangement as it allows him to screen movies on the first day of release and fight piracy & the cable network. The operating cost is also less and it doesn’t need any consumable items like carbon bulb etc.

The digital cinema system configuration is as per below.


Indian digital cinema


Source: UFO Moviez (

UFO moviez has got DRM with digital encryption system. Each show will get released by providing transaction id on billing server. The UFO theater-server also monitors system health and displays critical information in a simplified form on the system’s screen. All actions by the system and users, including systems engineers, theater-managers and operators, are logged by the theater-server and transferred to the UFO NOC for regular auditsUFO moviez has connected more than 500 cinema halls.


I got exposed to few more interesting indicators / flattening forces during my trip and I will be discussing them in coming weeks.

December 11, 2006 at 4:02 pm 7 comments

Future of Emerging Media – India

Prabhvir (MindShare Interaction, India) provides interesting local insights on the Future of Emerging Media – India at his own blog. Here’s an excerpt:

Over a third of American and Australian adults have shared content on the Internet. The most popular form of content creation is sharing photos, text, and video. While a minority has posted to a blog or their own website, this is becoming a significant group. Almost 50 million Americans have now created content on the Internet.

India is not far behind in terms of user generated content (according to The State Of Blogging In India/MSN India Visitors):

– 76 percent of total bloggers are men

– 54 percent are between the age group 25-34, 32% under 25 and 15% over 35.

– 58 percent of bloggers started to express themselves, while 40% to entertain others

– 47 percent of blog owners said that they most enjoy expressing opinions

December 7, 2006 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

FMCG = Faster-moving content giants?

James (Singapore) writes: 

Jack Neff’s AdAge article today was packed with thought-provoking numbers and insight. These paragraphs capture the core revelations:

Such package-goods marketers as Procter & Gamble Co. and Unilever don’t sell many products directly online. Their low-cost, low-involvement brands tend not to generate much search. Yet the websites of P&G and Unilever now reach nearly 6 million and 3 million unique visitors, respectively, in the U.S. each month, according to ComScore Media Metrix. 

While P&G sites captured only 3.3% of ComScore’s U.S. web audience in October, that’s more than double its industry-leading 1.3% share of U.S. ad spending last year and nine times its share of online ad spending, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The monthly web audiences for P&G and Unilever brands now easily swamp the audiences of many magazines and cable and syndicated TV shows where they advertise. 

I’m sure this article will kick off a lively debate about the potential for brands to become media in their own right. Scott Karp has already offered this intriguing, albeit tongue-in-cheek, scenario: 

Maybe P&G and Unilever should start offering media brands and Web 2.0 companies an opportunity to advertise on their sites. Imagine how many real people new web apps could reach by advertising on P&G vs. advertising on sites that only reach early adopters. 

For me, the exciting prospect here is to watch how these two consumer insight giants navigate the arrival of their core, mass consumer base onto the internet. Whether you love or hate the communications they have used over the past century to build their megabrands, nobody can deny they understand how to communicate with ‘ordinary folk’. You only have to experience the formidable marketing machine of a company/division like Hindustan Lever in India, to realize the power of the ‘common touch’. Could Hindustan Lever make FMCG stand for ‘Faster-moving content giant’, if they wanted to? I wouldn’t bet against them.

Some other facts in the article that stood out for me:

  • A study by McKinsey & Co. for one package-goods brand G2 handled showed that while its website reached only 800,000 consumers annually, they were generating $40 in profit on average, compared with $5 for consumers reached by traditional media.
  • Search-heavy Google accounts for a relatively small amount of traffic to the P&G and Unilever sites compared with display-ad-heavy Yahoo, the leading source of traffic for both marketers, according to ComScore.
  • Both marketers also draw traffic from their e-mail relationship programs and other online promotions
  • Unilever’s “Dove Evolution” viral video has generated more than 3 million views online since it launched in October — and helped spur a 34% overall increase in visitors to Unilever websites.

December 5, 2006 at 2:44 pm 1 comment

the big switch of control – from companies to people

MindShare's unofficial uncorporate Asian blog


How to earn prime-time when you can no longer buy it

Monthly archive