mobile-active-indiatimes-dishtv-ringtones-3DTH Service provider Dish TV and Indiatimes 58888 have partnered to offer previews of the latter’s VAS services on DTH, though a service called Mobile Active. The cross-media integration allows users to preview and download ringtones, wallpapers and text alerts to their mobile from their television sets. In the past, Tata Sky had partnered with Hungama for a similar service. Indiatimes also powers shopping on Airtel DTH. Matrimonial portals and job sites have also tied up with various DTH companies. But does it really work?

For VAS companies like Indiatimes 58888 and Hungama, this is a means of reaching out to a consumer base for content sale – in a way, another display window for their content, other than the telecom operator deck, or their WAP site. However, I really wonder if this works for a consumer. When I switch on Tata Sky, I do it with the intent of watching TV, not buying content; ditto when I scroll through the Electronic Programming Guide (EPG). I am also developing an extreme dislike for the irritating announcement buttons on Tata Sky, which appears all to frequently, and usually promote such services. Perhaps it may be different for other consumers, but I don’t like it.

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However, I like the tie-ups between Internet, mobile and DTH companies for a completely different reason: it means that Internet and mobile content companies are beginning to explore other digital platforms for their content. While the business models may vary, the nature of the digital medium allows content to be adapted to multiple platforms. At the end of the day, it is all content and carriage.

Even where DTH lacks a response mechanism, mobile steps in to close the loop. I believe we will see more experiments of cross-media deployment of content, across platforms. With 3G and WiMax networks operational within a year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some interesting initiatives in the digital OOH space. This is just the beginning.