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Weekly Digest (24-27 Nov)

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Editors Picks

— At the 3G India Forum, Rajat Mukarji, Head of Corporate Affairs for Idea Cellular spoke about how mobile operators need to adjust to the 3G environment. It appears their approach will involve more of direct marketing than mass marketing, also focused on reducing the cost of rollout and handsets. For content owners, he spoke about how live streaming may be an issue, because of the way circles in India are structured, and suggested means of tackling that issue. A must read.

— India announced a tender for Mobile Number Portability recently, and from the tender emerged two very interesting aspects of the MNP process – if a consumer wants to switch from one operator to another, the recipient operator will have to take the lead, and the entire process cannot take more than 2 days, in which, the service should be stopped for less than 2 hours. India will have a minimum of two MNP operators, in two well defined MNP Service Zones, with exclusive rights for 5 years. More here

— Nokia announced the launch of its Music Store in India. The pricing of the service has not been disclosed, but it appears that it will have two models – Comes With Music, which gives handset buyers access to unlimited music for a year, and a pay per download model. Content owners including Universal Music, Hungama Mobile and the Indian Music Industry association IMI have come on board, giving Nokia access to a significant majority of Indian popular music. They’ve not disclosed the revenue share, but sources have informed us it’s not a viable proposition for Nokia. The content will be available both online and mobile, as well as at retail outlets. More here.

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Your Picks
— Gaurav Mishra, Co-Founder of Sequoia Capital funded Indian search engine Guruji.com put in his papers. Guruji hasn’t been a crowd favourite, as is evident from the I-told-you-so comments that we received, but CEO Anurag Dod and investor Sumir Chadha claim that all is well, and the company has spent very little from their last round of funding. Chadha rubbished the rumour that they’ve written off the Guruji investment. Read what Dod had to say here, and what Chadha clarified here.

— We looked at some numbers on the Indian music Industry, sent across by Motorola owned content aggregator Soundbuzz, and considered the situation where the tables may have turned – perhaps a music owner like T-Series has become dependent on Hungama for monetizing their content, unlike a situation wherein the content aggregator and distributor like Hungama was dependent on T-Series for content. What do you think? Do comment here.

— Indiatimes has launched a portal for women called iDiva, which has its own mail offering for women and features content targeting women, including content aggregated from womens mags. Indiatimes has also launched a B2B marketplace, connecting buyers and sellers from various business verticals. Surprisingly, this is an Indiatimes initiative, not one from Times Business Solutions. More here.

More on Numbers, Industry Moves, Events, Jobs

— In October, India added 10.42 million wireless connections, and crossed 5 million broadband connections. We crunched some numbers – based on an average subscriber addition of 173,000 users per month, India will reach 10 million broadband subs March 2011, and on an average growth rate of 3.92%, will reach 10 Million broadband subscribers in May 2010. That is, of course, unless wireless Broadband takes root. More numbers, including circlewise data here.

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— Music content aggregator and distributor SoundBuzz has released their estimates of the Indian Music Industry. Download the data here.

Other Industry News
— HT Media has formed a mobile marketing JV with Velti Group PLC. The JV will be a subsidiary of Firefly E-Ventures, and HT will hold 65% percent in the company. Mobile Marketing and Advertising accounts for over 69% of Velti’s revenues, but we wonder if they’ve made a mistake by going with a publisher in India, since there may be a conflict of interest. More here.

— TravelGuru has outsourced its flights booking to Meta search engine Ixigo – with which, their hotel booking becomes the key segment that they’re still operating by themselves. Juxtapose this development with the fact that TravelGuru had acquired hotel aggregator Desiya last year…the outsourcing highlights a difference in approach between Cleartrip and TravelGuru – the former has added commissions to their services. More here.

— Yet another ad network in India: News Corp is launching .Fox Networks. Globally, they’re aggregating the long tail of content, offering Rich Media applications, SEO, SEM, and have two ad networks – financial ad network Worthnet.FOX and video ad network utarget.FOX. More here.

Komli Media has announced an exclusive partnership for India with Vizu, an online brand advertising measurement system. Komli will deploy Vizu’s Ad Catalyst technology, in order to offer brand campaign performance metric to brand advertisers and agencies.

— Rediff has introduced a “Web In Mail” service…I think it will work well for users for whom access to certain websites is blocked. Else, why bother?

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— Reliance has launched Reliance Money Mall which is both an e-commerce portal and a space for financial products. They need to get their positioning right.

Policy Bazaar, a company in which Info Edge (disclosure, Nikhil Pahwa, Editor, MediaNama has shares of Info Edge) has introduced an auto insurance comparison service. It’sjust  another feature added to their portfolio of insurance related services, which earlier consisted of Travel, Health and Life Insurance.  Our interview with PolicyBazaar CEO when they received funding, here.


VAS India 2008

Industry Moves
Durga Raghunath as been appointed Managing Editor of Livemint.com
Pooja Puri has joined .Fox Networks as Head of Sales
Gaurav Mishra, Co-Founder of Guruji.com, has left the company 

Avinash Mudaliar has joined Indiatimes as VP (Creative) and Content Head
Pradeep Gairola has joined Indiatimes as VP (Brand)
I M Swaminathan has joined Indiatimes as VP (Audience Head) & Brand Manager
V Nagarajan has joined Indiatimes as VP (HR)


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Manager/Sr. Manager – Sales at One97 Communications – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore
Manager/Sr. Manager – Sales (Media) at One97 Communications – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore
Manager/Sr. Manager – Sales (Enterprise) at One97 Communications – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore
Manager – Products (Enterprise) at One97 Communications – Noida
Product Manager at One97 Communications – Noida
Team Leader/Project Leader/ Project Manager at One97 Communications – Noida
Team Leader/Project Leader/ Project Manager at One97 Communications – Noida
Marketing Manager at Opera Software – Chandigarh, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore

Detailed jobs here. To post jobs, contact nikhil@medianama.com

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



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