Spice Digital, the Mobile Value Added Services company in the Spice Group, has entered into an exclusive arrangement with Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) for Voice based Music Streaming Services (Mobile Radio). The exclusive tie-up gives Spice access to over 1 million songs, including some of the most valuable catalog content in India. PPL represents, according to a recent filing, 139 music labels in the country. On Licensing and Telecom Operators The deal is for three private mobile operators - Airtel, Idea and Vodafone, which will essentially allow Spice to guarantee that their platform remains with these three; we'd heard murmurs about some issues at Idea, and it's interesting to note that on Idea, both Spice Digital and competitor OnMobile Global are running Mobile Radio services. Mobile Radio is the second most successful Value Added Service in India, after Caller Ringback Tones, and with increasing competition for rights, Spice would want exclusivity. Speaking with MediaNama, Shehzad Azad, Head (Business Development & Alliance) for Spice Digital, said that the Mobile Radio business for Spice Digital is profitable, but input costs and direct costs of content licensing have risen; thus, profitability has suffered, but with since the company does large volumes, they maintain healthy profitability. Azad, however, said that because of their scale, there wasn't much competition: it's just that now it is inked and legally binding. That said, Spice Digital's Mobile Radio service is not limited to PPL alone - they have content from Hungama (which represents T-Series) as well. "If you're…
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