Mobile operator Aircel has launched “Mobile Radio”, an IVR-based music streaming service. Its users can now dial on a toll free number 56060555 to listen to songs for free, without any subscription. It’s worth mentioning that the service will be monetized by playing ads after each song.
The carrier has partnered with Techzone, a mobile value added service (MVAS) provider for telecom operators in the country. In June, Motion picture and distribution company Eros announced that it will be acquiring controlling stake in Techzone.
Mobile Radio also gives customers an option to select different songs from different genres, artists and other categories. The songs catalog includes Hindi, as well as several regional languages including Marathi, Gujarati, Assamese, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam.
Over the past few months several mobile operators have introduced similar streaming services on their network . Last year, Vodafone India launched a mobile internet based music service called “Vodafone Music” which was powered by Hungama’s platform. In May 2013, Tata DOCOMO partnered with music streaming juggernaut Saavn to launch music streaming data plans in its 2G and 3G offerings. Bharti Airtel and Radio Mirchi launched Mirchi Mobile back in 2010, which later became available on direct lines as well.
The idea of listening to music songs via phone calls is rather popular, but the ad supported mobile radio reminds us of Hindustan Unilever’s ‘Kan Khajura Tesan’ which enables people in remote areas such as Gosaidaspur — a village in Bihar where there is no FM network — to call on a specific number to listen to their favorite songs. These people are catered with ads of the Hindustan Unilever brands. Perhaps Aircel’s “Mobile Radio” is inspired from it.