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UTV New Media Launches Audio Cinema On Voice Portals; CEO TN Prabhu On Licensing, Trial Runs, Programming

UTV New Media has launched an Audio Cinema initiative, which provides abridged versions of Indian films on audio, via a voice portal which is accessible from the mobile. The service is being launched with Bollywood films Sholay and Fashion, Premloka in Kannada, Dalpati in Tamil and Gangleader in Telugu. The films will be 1 hour long, and with narration and select key dialogues and songs. UTV plans to launch four movies a week, and a total of 208 movies in four languages in the next one year. The content will be available on the voice portal 505999555, where users can dial in and choose from various movie options. Rates are different for different telecom operators: in most instances, it is priced at Rs. 6 per minute (on Airtel and Vodafone). For Reliance, it's available on a subscription of Rs. 30 per month, and a listening charge of Rs. 0.50 per minute. UTV New Media CEO T.N. Prabhu told MediaNama that the concept owes its origins to the way Radio used to broadcast plays and abridged versions of films in the past, and that content consumption on mobile is mirroring Radio. "We obviously cannot go ahead and reinvent news or mobile music now. What we're doing has synergy with what our group (UTV) is doing." Among other things, we spoke to Prabhu about what they learned from test runs, the licensing, pricing, programming, and his views on content like TV Shows and audio books for this format. I got the sense…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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

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