Comics on the mobile is the latest value added service telcos are betting on: Nazara Technologies, a Sequoia Capital funded VAS company has partnered with Turner Group’s Cartoon Network to bring popular cartoons to mobile screens, reported AnimationExpress. It is not confirmed if the comics have been launched as yet. The mobile portal Wap.CartoonNetwork.in was created by another VAS provider Mobile2Win, which merged with Chandigarh-based Altruist Technologies in February this year. The portal currently does not display any comics.
Popular cartoons on the channel such as Ben 10, the Power Puff Girls, Johnny Bravo and Dexter will be available as comics on Idea Cellular, Vodafone Essar, Loop Telecom, Tata DoCoMo, RCOM and Airtel. Nazara and Cartoon Network will also launch a Java-based application next year to download entire comics. The delay might be an indicator that they are still testing the market for attractiveness of m-comics.
Cross Industry Partnerships For Comic VAS So Far:
- Diamond Comics & Rediff
- ROK Comics, Shortformats & Airtel – Raj Comics & ACK Media
- Tata DoCoMo – ACK Media, Liquid Comics and Walt Disney Animation Studios
- ACK Media & Vodafone
Some of them are offering applications that have to be downloaded before viewing the comics whereas others are offering them on WAP portals.
Nazara is offering a variety of subscriptions to suit different users — there is an attractive daily pricing of Re.1 per day, or the standard Rs. 10 per week or – a monthly subscription of Rs. 30. The revenue sharing agreements were not disclosed. Besides cartoons, Nazara will also offer videos, wallpaper, animation, themes, logos and e-greetings to mobile users.
Nazara has previously developed games based on Indian mythology, Cricket and Archies Comics among others, though the Archie Zone in their website does not seem to be working.
In October, Nazara had tied up with New York based Cellufun, a mobile social community where people interact, play games and buy virtual merchandise. The company is also in talks with Apple, Airtel and Vodafone for iPhone games based on Ekalavya and The Great Yudhistir. Nazara recorded revenues of Rs. 35 crores in 2008-09, and is targeting Rs. 50 crore for 2009-10.