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BBC News Launches Premium Voice Blog On Airtel; How Will It Become Viral?

Bharti Airtel has launched Airtel Blog, powered by Bubble Motion's Bubbly. Any Airtel subscriber can sign up for their own blog by dialling *7*, and ask their friends and family to call up ** to subscribe. Blog subscribers will receive an SMS every time there's an update, and will have to dial *2* to listen to the updates. Whenever a user subscribes to a blog, it's author receives an SMS update. The service is priced at Rs. 0.75 per minute for voice-blogging, and for listening to blogs. That's moderate pricing, similar to that from another product from Bubble Motion - Voice SMS. Interestingly, on signing up, Airtel sends a message informing authors that its terms and conditions are available online at http://www.airtelblog.in, which is full of disclaimers around user generated content. The Premium Blogs Model: BBC News Signs On One interesting mode of monetization is premium voice blog, which might end up being a significant mode of monetization, as more and more media companies publish snippets of voice updates. Users can sign up for BBC News updates in Hindi by dialling *5151*, paying Rs. 10 for 30 days as subscription, and Rs. 0.75 per minute for accessing. We timed them, and updates are exactly 30 seconds in length each. I remember that a few years ago, STAR Plus had said that their voice service for summaries related to the popular TV show Kyonki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi would get significant traction in Uttar Pradesh, particularly due to power cuts in the evening.…

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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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