MTV India has tied-up with Hungama to launch MTV DJ Dial, a mobile DJ service where users can call an IVR line on short code 5464641 and listen to music of their choice. MTV has tied up with major telecom operators including Airtel, Tata Docomo, Vodafone, MTS, Uninor and Reliance.

At present, the service has offers bollywood music and music from MTV’s Unplugged TV show. It has five categories: MTV Unplugged, Hit Pe Hit, Past Ka Blast, Khambakht Ishq and Bollywood Phataka. The company claims that it plans to integrate every MTV music based show on the portal. The service is subscription based and we found that it offers 30 minutes of free listening on a monthly subscription of Rs 30.

The music is selected by a DJ from MTV, so users will be offered a collection of pre-selected songs in the different categories. It appears that they would not be able to search for and listen to a particular song. This makes it similar to a dial-in radio service. The MTV shows would be the only differentiating feature, but it’s good to see someone go beyond the usual content.

We’d like to see someone experiment with non-film content – perhaps bring music from Coke Studio and maybe music from the Dewarists on to the same platform.

Music radio services are quite common, across operators. Some examples:

– Vodafone offers a similar service, Vodafone Music Station where it allows users to chooses and listen to music from a selection of 40,000 songs. It charges a monthly subscription of Rs 50 and a call rate of 30 paise per minute.

– Airtel Radio from Airtel lets users listen to the song of their choice from 1.25 lakh songs. It also lets users directly dial a code to listen to songs from a particular genre or one particular song. Airtel has a web interface to search through the songs. It charges Rs 30 per month for 30 minutes of music listening.

– Aircel’s Music Connect service allows users to create playlists and share it as status updates over social networking platforms. It also has a web interface that allows listening to the songs online. Aircel charges Rs 30 per month and bundles 100 minutes of music listening on IVR.

– Uninor also offers ‘Unlimited Music’ on mobile service in all its circles, that lets listen to music from a collection of 2,50,000 songs by paying a daily charge of Rs 2.50 (Rs. 15 for 7 days and Rs. 60 for a month).