Updated with screenshots and other info
Reliance Communications has partnered VAS firm Nazara Technologies and channel Cartoon Networks to launch comics on mobile for its GSM customers all over India. Comics of Ben 10, Johnny Bravo, Dexter’s Laboratory and the Powerpuff Girls will be available to users. Reliance plans to introduce Archies comics along with comics of Charlie Chaplin and Laurel & Hardy.
Medianama had reported in December 2009 that the Sequoia funded VAS company Nazara had partnered with Turner Group to bring popular cartoons from Cartoon Network to mobile phones. Nazara is readying for a website relaunch on 26th of January.
Nazara and Cartoon Network also had plans to launch a Java based application to download entire comics. It is not clear whether Reliance has a downloadable application or a WAP site for the mobile comics. From the screenshots sent to us, it appears that it is not an application but a WAP portal.
Pricing, Auto Renewal
Update: Or is it? The company neglected to inform us that there is a minimum subscription period, according to the screenshots sent, of 10 days. So it is not a “sachet VAS” RCOM pioneered and users would have to pay Rs. 10 for ten days. Why is it that comics on mobile have not been included under the convenient sachet model which allows users to download value added services just for a single day? Is this cautious attitude going to put off users?
Value added services contribute to around 11 percent of Airtel’s revenues and 9-10% of most of the cellular operators in India. In order to grow it, they should focus on driving uptake by offering easy pricing models and bundling VAS – this is not the time to step gingerly.
The users will receive one comic strip from each of the titles they subscriber to everyday. Revenue sharing details between the VAS company and the operator were not disclosed.
Update: Nazara very clearly notes that the service will be renewed for the next ten days automatically. TRAI had some very clear guidelines regarding autorenewals in the directive it issued in September which read, “the service provider shall inform the subscriber through Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or voice or Short Message Service (SMS) at least three days before the due date of renewal of a subscribed value added service, the due date for renewal, the charges for renewal and the toll free telephone number for un-subscribing of such value added service.”
There have been similar tie-ups in the past for offering mobile comics to users. Rediff launched Diamond Comics for mobiles in November last year. They have popular titles like Chacha Chaudhary, Panchatantra, Tenalirama, Akbar Birbal, Ramayan & Mahabharat.
Airtel also has a WAP portal with ROK Comics and ShortFormats.
Tata Docomo has a partnership with ACK Media and Walt Disney Animation Studios for ‘Comix On The Go’, a downloadable application for mobile phones. Suppandi, Akbar Birbal, Manga, Disney, Mickey Mouse, Panchtantra and Devi are the titles in offer from Tata Docomo. Has it been launched yet? Fill us in, DoCoMo subscribers?
—Comic VAS: Nazara Brings Cartoon Network To Mobiles
—Rediff Launches Diamond Comics For Mobiles
—Airtel Brings Comics To Mobile Via ShortFormats & ROK Comics; Pricing?
—Tata Docomo To Launch Mobile Comics, Manga