Times Internet’s music streaming service Gaana has enabled operator billing for Gaana Plus on shorter duration packs. Until now, people using the service could only subscribe to annual plans billed via Google Play or iTunes.
Gaana is using Fortumo’s billing service and currently supports Idea, Airtel and Vodafone as of now. Operator billing service is currently available only for one day pack that costs Rs 5 and for a week long plan that costs Rs 30. This is similar to the operator billing option competing app Saavn had added in February this year. Saavn lets you charge Rs 5 for a day, Rs 30 for a week and Rs 110 for a month via operator billing for Pro Lite subscription that can be used to cache up to 3GB of songs. Hungama also provides operator billing as an option for its music streaming app.
Times Internet had previously used Fortumo’s operator billing service for its video streaming website BoxTV. The operator billing service was available only for short duration packs, much like with Gaana. It was charging Rs 20 for a 1 day pack, Rs 49 (for a 3 day pack), Rs 99(7 day pack) and Rs 150(15 day pack).
While launching operator billing for BoxTV, Times Internet had justified the availability of operator billing only for short term packs by saying that a lot of online content consumption happens on weekends and “BoxTV’s weekend pack makes it easy for people to watch premium content without paying for an entire month”. The company must be working on the same logic here.
On operator billing revenue share
Unless Times Internet has worked out a different deal with Fortumo, this is the percentage cut the company will make from operator billing.
Fortumo has stopped offering operator billing for Tata DOCOMO and is only offering Airtel, Idea and Vodafone as options.