Update: Paul Schwarz adds that the platform is capable of supporting more interactive services, in addition to live text feeds and these will be introduced in the future on the basis of audience feedback.
Private taxi service operator EasyCabs has partnered with media solutions provider En Route Media to offer in-cab entertainment and internet services, reports Indian Express. The service is initially being installed in 40 cabs in Mumbai and will be extended to 460 more cabs in a phased manner, and later to other cities.
Speaking to MediaNama, Paul Schwarz, Managing Director of En Route Media said that the service has an Out Of Home element, but unlike conventional OOH platforms, this one focuses on being more niche and segmented. En Route has installed embedded, touch screen devices, based on Linux, on head rests inside the cabs. The devices are connected to the ignition and the taxi meter and let the commuter choose content from different categories, including fashion, entertainment, news and lifestyle.
They will provide content from media outlets like Fox History & Entertainment, National Geographic and German TV station DW TV, as well as online businesses Times Internet*, TechCrunch, Who What Wear, WatchMojo and Style Caster, among others. There is a dedicated channel for City info which will provide city centric information.
The content will be updated once a week through CDMA-EVDO data cards and will comprise of video clips ranging from 1 minute to 5 minute, in addition to text information. However, all communication will be one way and commuters will not get internet access through the device. Schwarz said that it will be more or less like a TV broadcast with a choice of different content channels. The company might consider delivering live text feed for news updates in the future.
Schwarz declined to comment on the monetization model of the company and the nature of the deals that En Route has inked with EasyCabs and content providers, although, he did say that the company earns through brand partnerships and brand promotion.
EasyCabs’ competitor Meru had recently tied up with MTS to offer passengers free data card connectivity on the move in Delhi. Tata Teleservices also partnered with Meru in Bangalore, following which all its 800 cabs played the Tata Photon Plus jingle at the time of boarding and deboarding the cab.
Disclosure: Times Internet Ltd is an advertiser with MediaNama
– MTS Ties Up With Meru Cabs For In-Taxi Mobile Internet