Novosol, a Singapore based mobile advertising and media content company which launched a Mobile cricket magazine dubbed as MoCricket during the ICC World Cup 2011, says that it intends to extend it to six more Indian operators by early next year. The portal has been deployed on-deck, with Airtel and Reliance Communication, though it is accessible from any data enabled mobile phone.
The magazine, which is in the form of a mobile web site claims to live scores, avatar based videos, match galleries, real-time coverage, previews, match analysis, gossip and trivia in a Photo Story format, focusing on Cricket + Entertainment in 2-3 minute bites. Although when we tried browsing it, we found a live score ticker, picture slideshows with captions and video roundups which were actually a montage of pictures with a short intro by an animated character. We did not find any real videos per-se.
– Monetization & Rev-Share: The company has revenue sharing agreements with Operators. It monetizes mostly via VAS subscriptions and advertising. According to Novosol, MoCricket is currently mostly free, however, it will feature a mix of free and paid content in the future. In fact, coverage of the ICC World Cup and IPL in the past were paid. Through, operator tie-ups, Novosol intends to promote the product via Circle level pushes, WAP portal white listings and cross selling activity, which it says will result in increasing 3G takeup rate and data revenues while also generating VAS subscription and advertising revenues.
– Event Rights: Novosol had purchased the ICC live video clips distribution rights for 8 countries including Malaysia, Singapore, China, USA, Indonesia, Australia, West Indies, and Sri Lanka for ICC world cup 2011, and had carried live videos for Reliance Communications in India. The company says that it will buy event rights when there is a business case
– Content discovery: Operator tie-ups will allow push based promotions. The company also intends to pursue social marketing campaigns with visibility on twitter, facebook and youtube .
– Response: Although Novosol did not reveal any specific figure in terms of page-views, it claims to have experienced several million page views. According to the company, MoCricket’s target market is mainly India, though its user base spans across Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, Caribbean and US.
– Apps & Other Channels: The company intends to introduce content on other related mobile channels including IVVR, MMS, SMS, and MobileTV. Novosol says that its current focus is on optimizing the mobile browser experiences, since reach through the browser is better.
While Cricket content does draw readers in India like no other content type, there needs to be differentiation in terms of content matter and presentation. There’s also Affle’s Cricket Dressing Room. We are also not too sure if many cricket fans are interested in tabloid coverage, that too on mobile. Mobile portals like the one by ESPNCricinfo offer more detailed coverage in terms of updates and editorials.
Nikhil adds: adding telecom operators is merely a means of adding more traffic, and it is entirely possible that MoCricket pays for being placed on the telecom operator WAP portal, because they send it traffic. It then monetizes it with either paid content (like during the World Cup) or with advertising.