Entertainment quotient, key driver for media business

MUMBAI:The final leg of the em2 seminar brought together ideas on old and new age technologies. The first session addressed print and the radio (which is perceived as a new media), while the other threw light on mobile entertainment.

To Times Group executive president Bhaskar Das, "No business is like show business." Das pointed out that every successful business needed star brands to attract consumers and there is a thin line between brands and celebrities, which is fast disappearing.

"The entertainment quotient has been infused and extended to the entire platform that the Times Group is offering," Das pointed out. He called attention to the manner The Economic Times introduced the entertainment quotient of the daily through whacky headlines and through pictorial displays.

Then there is the much talked about Hum Tum innovation wherein The Times Of India had carried out a month-long activity of the Hum Tum cartoon strips. The main star cast Saif Ali Khan had made an appearance in the popular show Jassi Jassi Koi Nahi and debated on the Hum Tum strips.

As radio is perceived a the theatre of the mind, Adlabs Radio COO Tarumn Katial believes that though radio is a conventional media, it has the potential to offer unconventional marketing.

Citing the popular Pepsodent radio jingle that had employed the same intonations as the Hindu "artis" devotees recited, Katial said this could only be evoked properly on radio as a medium.

If radio is believed to be the new media, than mobile entertainment is touted as the next big and the hot thing amongst the broadcasters as well as the mobile operators, especially when mobile devices are growing smarter so as to be able to support content.

Hutchision Essar VP corporate and group marketing Naven Chopra pointed out that mobisodes were yet unexplored as they are largely formatted to fit the tiny screen rather than creating exclusively for mobile users. He said it was also a market that is largely still a price-driven market as the cost influences the majority of purchase decisions. Chopra suggested the best that could be done was to offer bundling while exploiting content. For example, while offering four to five songs for download, a free song could be added or a free wallpaper could be offered.

Qualcomm chief technology advisor Dr Nikhil Jain threw light on an application his company had developed, BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) for mobile phones, which can support GSM/GPRS, UMTS, and CDMA. BREW enables a programmer to develop applications without needing to code for system interface or understand wireless application.

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