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India's first serial for mobiles next month

Rajat, the younger brother of Sooraj Barjatya, runs a company Rajshri Media which is all set to launch the serial for cell phone users in India.

business Updated: Dec 28, 2007 00:03 IST

Digital technology has changed the economics of India's Rs 44,000-crore ($11 billion) entertainment industry and entrepreneur Rajat Barjatya, the scion of one of Bollywood's biggest film banners, is read to tap the opportunity in a big way.



Rajat, the younger brother of Sooraj Barjatya who owns Rajshri Productions, is coming up with the first ever serial for mobile phone users in India.



"I hate to use the term first. I would rather say that we are among the first to make a serious attempt at doing this. We have produced a 90-episode series, with three minutes per episode, and it is in the humour genre," Rajat said.



His company Rajshri Media that was launched last year specialises in producing content for new media like the Internet, mobile phones and iPods.



The serial for cellphones is Rajat's second breakthrough in the last 13 months, thanks to digital technology. His first endeavour was the release of Rajshri's

Vivah

simultaneously in theatres and online on its website.



"We are going to put the serial out towards the end of January. It's very

desi

, compelling and one of its kind and I think people are going to love it," he added.



Mobile telephone users are currently estimated at close to 220 million. Internet penetration is estimtaed at 46 million and has an active base of over 32 million in India.



Rajat said: "We are looking at new delivery platforms -- online, telecom, IPTV networks. We believe that we need to create content for new entertainment devices, which are proliferating and entertaining audiences."



He said the personal computer, mobile phones and devices like iPods are personal entertainment touch points to the audience, compared to cinema and television earlier. "For smaller screens, you need a different way of thinking -- you have to conceive, develop and produce content in a different way. Just the way TV content is developed, conceived and produced differently than cinema."



When Rajat released

Vivah

online, for the first few days he allowed surfers to download the film for free and later sold for Rs 400 per download. Nine months later, it had sold 6,500 downloads, according to an Ernst & Young report.



When asked about the budget for his new venture, Rajat refused to give any details, but said: "After

Vivah

we have released a dozen films for UTV, Pritish Nandy Communications and Shemaroo like

Hattrick

,

Life In A Metro

,

Bow Barracks Forever

,

Blue Umbrella

and

Dhamaal

. It is all revenue share."



Rajshri Media is a very potent combination of content and technology and is providing a complementary and alternative revenue stream to film producers, he said.



Rajat predicts a proliferating future for digitised content and says in the long run it will bust piracy as well.