Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has launched Live Mirchi, the mobile version of FM radio station Radio Mirchi on its fixed lines. Customers can subscribe by dialing 59830 from their Airtel fixed line; they’ll have to pay Rs 10, valid for one week which would entitle them to 100 free inbuilt minutes; if these finish before seven days are up, then customers need to subscribe again, for another seven days. This appears to be an extension of the ”Mirchi Mobile” radio for Airtel’s Mobile customers, for which it had partnered with Spice Digital and Radio Mirchi. The pricing is the same for mobile. OnMobile Global and Reliance ADAG owned BIG FM had also struck a similar deal. We don’t know how old this is, but one of our readers sent us a copy of a mailer that Airtel sent, introducing the service to its fixed line customers.
Strangely enough, the Airtel FAQs suggest that this is a live feed, stating: “Yes, the feed is directly from the radio station and is therefore live.” This contradicts what we were told by Nandan Srinath, Head of Mobility for the Times Group when Mirchi Mobile was launched:
“It is not streaming of the same radio channel, it’s not the same feed. This is as close to live radio as you can get: it’s a combination of music, advertising, jock elements and branding that a radio station does. The consumer is consuming two rights: he’s consuming the rights to music from the technology partner and telecom operator (Spice Digital and Airtel). He’s also consuming the content from Radio Mirchi where it owns the licenses for its own content: the branding and jock-talk. Our job is limited to providing the expertise and playlists, essentially everything that is non-music.
The jock-talk is very very similar, but not exactly the same, and the consumer won’t know the difference unless he’s listening to the content simultaneously.”
A call to Srinath last week was not answered.
On fixed line, Airtel offers services like Music on Demand, Voice SMS and Voice Mail. It could easily extend all its voice portal services to Fixed Line as well, although it’s fixed line user base is fairly limited.
–Times Group Mobility Head Nandan Srinath On Mirchi Mobile: Pricing, Analytics, Advertising
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