ABP (Anandabazar Patrika) Group, the media conglomerate that publishes dailies such as The Telegraph and Anandabazar Patrika, runs periodicals and a news TV network, in addition to the Bangla edition of Yahoo, has launched an iOS app for the iPhone and iPad (Universal app), that offers Bangla content. The app, known as MyABP, offers LIVE Bengali news, Bengali e-magazines, Bengali movies, cuisine videos, online radio, Bengali blogs and live TV streams of ABP Ananda and Sananda TV. The app has been developed by Converse.

It’s interesting to note that although the app is free to download, one cannot access content without a subscription, which is integrated with the App Store through an in-app purchase. Users can choose to buy a one month subscription for $4.99, a 3 month subscription for $12.99, a six month subscription for $23.99 and an annual one for $42.99.

The app offers Bengali movies and claims that there would be new additions every fortnight. It also offers a ‘retro’ radio channel ‘Radio Ananda’, a video recipe section ‘Ponchobyanjon’, and ABP’s four Bengali magazines – Desh, Sananda, Ananandamela and Anandalok. The app also features LIVE TV channels, Bengali news channel ABP Ananda and entertainment channel Sananda TV.

Would you pay a subscription fee for app content?

We’re not exactly sure if users will pay for content, specially on an Indian app featuring niche regional content. Although, we’ve not been able to get a hands-on on the content since the app does not allow access without a subscription, the content it claims to offer does seem to be exclusive. Perhaps, like other markets where digital content subscription is at times offered free with print or cable subscription, ABP could offer similar packs. It also looks like ABP is targeting expats who’d be willing to pay for easier access to content. It would be interesting to see how many subscribers ABP is able to garner following this launch. We still feel that ABP should have offered free access for a week or fortnight to allow users to experience and try out the app before subscribing to it.