The Digital business of Disney UTV has launched a Facebook app called ‘Bindass Facebook Jukebox’ that allows Facebook users to vote and dedicate songs to their friends on TV. The dedicated songs will be played on Bindass TV on the Bindass Jukebox show – Monday to Friday from 5-7 pm.
To dedicate a song, users need to visit Bindass Jukebox app page on Facebook and select the song from the list of songs they want to dedicate to their friends on the network. Users can either select their friends from the list or type the name while dedicating the song. We tried the app and dedicated a song to a friend, however, the song dedication did not appear on their Facebook profile. The company claims that the app also plays songs but we were not able to play music from the app. Update: DisneyUTV has clarified with us that the app does not play music from within the Facebook app but on TV. DineyUTV shuts down the voting 3 hours before the show goes on-air so they can determine the playlist and also censor any profile images, comments or dedications that may be abusive.
The company claims that a mobile version of the app will be soon available on smartphones, allowing users to vote for a song and dedicate songs through the Facebook App. Zoom, another TV channel, also offers a similar app where users can vote for a song and dedicate a song to their friends on Facebook -Zoomit. Unlike the DisneyUTV app, ZoomTV’s app also allows users to search for a song.
The app gives users a way to interact with the channel, through a different medium. Earlier, the only way for a channel to interact with the audience would be through SMS, wherein users could send messages (often moderated) onTV. However, users would have to pay premium SMS charges to interact. Interaction through social networking sites is not only cost efficient but also accountable, and it’s more easy to identify participants. Though, people would find it difficult to dedicate songs anonymously. Popularity rankings of music are also more transparent this way, but the audience is limited to users of social networking sites.
Also note that Bindass chose to launch a Facebook app for this, while most television shows which integrate social networks tend to take feedback via Twitter. Different channels, different audience?
Still, we wonder why a TV channel would give up on Premium SMS based monetization: are SMS based modes of participation – voting, commenting – passe? Update: Bindass still runs the SMS jukebox during the morning time slot from Monday to Friday.
Other DisneyUTV developments:
Aircel had partnered with DisneyUTV and Electronic Arts to launch a new retail recharge card called ‘Aircel Pocket Internet Games’. The company stated that this recharge card will allow Aircel subscribers to download unlimited games from the existing gaming title library and access unlimited 2G data on their mobile connections. DisneyUTV’s digital business had also inked an exclusive deal with Electronic Arts (EA) to distribute mobile games in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh regions.
In September 2012, DisneyUTV’s digital business had launched a new audio service on mobile for UTV Stars, a bollywood and celebrity focused channel, which allows users to listen to various shows of UTV Stars on their mobile handsets. The audio service will be available to users via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) based service for a monthly subscription charge of Rs. 30.