vodaradioVodafone Essar and Radio Mirchi 98.3FM have partnered for a new offering -“Vodafone Mirchi Caller Tunes” – which allows listeners of the station in 32 cities to purchase any of the songs they hear on it and set the song as their caller ring back tone (CRBT) on their mobile phones. They can either use an IVR or by sending an SMS to a shortcode announced by the radio jockey.

Given that activating a CRBT is an impulse purchase (hence the importance of Press Star (*) to copy), this is undoubtedly a boost to discovering CRBT services, one of the most popular value added services (VAS), but we’re also wondering if the consumption of CRBT has reduced in India: VAS revenues have certainly been under pressure. The terms of the deal between Radio Mirchi and Vodafone have not been disclosed: is this a revenue sharing deal? We’ve asked Radio Mirchi for more info, but if you know, do leave a comment.

(Also read: GuestPost: How Mobile Music Revenues Are Split In India)

Telcos have used the Internet and WAP to enable discovery of ring back tones and tying up with a pan-India network of commercial FM radio stations will help further boost CRBT revenues. For subscribers, it offers an escape from tediously searching through the telco’s database or using an IVR. Costs remain the same – Rs. 15 for downloading the song, a monthly rental of Rs. 30. Users will also get a wider variety of regional songs and local artists that are played by FM stations.

Mirchi’s Revenues Down, Readying For Phase III, Competition

The quarter ended September 2009 was  a poor one for the private FM industry and the Entertainment Network (India) Limited owned Radio Mirchi’s 10 legacy stations saw income falling 10.7% to Rs. 409.3 million while 22 new radio stations’ revenues declined by 4.8%, according to an investor presentation by the company. Radio Mirchi claims a market share of 41-42% in the private FM market. Its strategic plans include adding licenses in new cities. ENIL also owns outdoor advertising company Times OOH and 360 Degrees Experience, an event management firm.

Recently, Synergy Media, the radio arm of the Dainik Bhaskar Group received an approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to increase its foreign shareholding of the paid equity share capital. Synergy runs 94.3 MyFM in 17 cities. Other competitors include TV Today’s subsidiary Radio Today, which runs Meow 104.8 FM  and Reliance Entertainment’s BIG 92.7 FM.

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