With mobile VAS services on the decline, and activations at an all time low, content distribution firm Shotformats is doing what most VAS companies have been talking about doing for years - going offdeck and offline to distribute content and apps through retail outlets. Shotformats plans to retail music, movies, games and apps, and roll out a distribution network of 10,000 retailers (mobile recharge and phone accessories shops) over the next six months, and 30,000 retailers in 1 year. The opportunity they're targeting is outlined by Niyati Shah, MD & CEO, Shotformats in the press release, who says that "As per our research, 95% of mobile users in India are prepaid users of which around 30-40% visit mobile recharge shops at least twice a day for getting recharges." Will retailers buy? Whether or not that is true, a retail rollout of recharge and accessory shops comes with its own challenges, especially the lack of shelf space in most recharge outlets (which are tiny and packed with products on sale), and how patient the retailer is for a low margin product such as a recharge. Small shopkeepers use mobile recharges as a means to an end - bringing a potential customer to a shop, hoping that she will purchase multiple items. Whether retailers and shopkeepers have the patience for this, and whether customers are interested, remains to be seen. (Update) Shotformats has sent us the following clarification: "Shotformats identifies retailer shops that offer mobile recharges/mobile handsets/mobile accessories and are high on the…
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