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Weekly Digest (8-12 Dec)

Date: 8th to 12th December 2008
Segments: Editorial, Your Picks, Industry News, Events, Jobs


Layoffs Begin: Internet companies have begun to layoff employees, that much is confirmed. Rumours are flying thick and fast now about how many have been laid off in which company; if expenses have to be rationalized, then why just layoffs? What we’re yet to hear about, is whether the top management too has taken pay cuts. 

Lets not forget that companies were complaining about exorbidant increases in employees salaries and difficulty in hiring: the joke last year was – we’re giving out three offer letters for each opening, hoping that at least one of the three will join. Things have come a full circle. 

Employees are worried about where they will go next, and at least among Internet and Media companies, if there aren’t layoffs, then there is a hiring freeze. We’re aware that Mobile VAS companies, protected by an investment buffer, are still hiring. So keep an eye out for those openings.

BCCL (Times of India) Group To Lay Off 5% Staff Across Businesses
Yahoo Lays Off 45-60 Employees in India


3G In India: MTNL “soft launched” 3G services in India last week. The word “half baked” would be more apt, since the network isn’t fully operational and commercial services haven’t been launched. The service delivers speeds ranging from 1.5 – 2.5 Mbps, and I wonder if it will hold up once usage increases. Trying out the services (video calling, video surveillance, movie streaming and Internet usage), I do feel there’s too much of a hype around 3G…it’s just more bandwidth. The details of the 3G auction have also been announced, and we’ll have more on that soon. 

At the same time, I do think it is time for many of the online business to prepare for mobile web, and maybe even a mobile application. Yes, mobile web usage might be limited right now, but a cross-media approach is key with a fragmented audience.

— MTNL 3G Services Demo’ed; Commercial Launch By Mid Feb
How Prepared Is MTNL For The 3G Launch?
— MTNL Inks Mobile TV Deal With Aksh Optifibre; What About Apalya?

Online Video Content – Video streaming portal TinselVision, which was targeting the South Asian population in US shut down recently. We’ve spoken to some content owners, who have said that Tinselvision paid minimum guarantees for non-exclusive content, and the choice of a paid subscription model may not have been the right approach. That said, advertising supported streaming isn’t doing appear to be doing particularly well either, but at least some money is coming in.

The funding of video advertising network VDOPIA is important in this context: the onus of growing the video advertising market in India now lies on content owners, platforms and the video advertising networks like Jivox and VDOPIA. Of course, consumer adoption is a bit of an issue here – with limited bandwidth speeds, and patience wearning thin, the propensity to wait for a video ad to load will be low, and dependent on the quality of the content.

Your Picks

Indian Media Takes To Twitter: different media companies are 
— Reuters Market Light To Expand To Haryana In Jan; 9 States By 2009 End
— OTAs, Travel Agents Reach A Compromise With Airlines – 3% Commission

Other Industry News

Rajshri Ties Up With Joost; Films On YouTube? Bipasha13
— Does Disney Hold A Majority Stake In UTV After The Open Offer?
— Report: Arun Sarin For Yahoo Top Job; CEO For A Sale?
7Seas Ties Up With GreyStripe; What GreyStripe And Hovr Need…
— Komli Media to exclusively deliver PointRoll’s rich media technologies in India
— Suzlon CMD & Family Pick Up 49% In You Telecom Subsidiary
— Sprice.com joins with Indian Express Group
— PIL seeks ban on Google Earth
— Tripmela.com Shuts Down – Puts Up Site For Sale On Ebay!
— IRCTC launches hotel bookings powered by Cleartrip

Industry Moves

OnMobile Global has appointed Sanjay Uppal as President and COO
Amit Duggal, Head of Online Media & Internet Sales at Travelguru has put in his papers
Lloyd Mathias, Senior Director for Sales and Distribution (Mobile Devices) for India and South-West Asia at Motorola is moving on
Viswanathan Krishnamurthi, CIO of Yahoo India has quit


TiE Entrepreneurial Summit, 16-18th December, Bangalore


To post jobs at MediaNama, contact nikhil@ medianama .com

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