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Mobisodes, webisodes to entertain now

business Updated: Jan 24, 2008 23:09 IST
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A global citizen is likely to have his or her world revolving around the four influencing screens of the television, personal computer, mobile phone and multiplex screen. The media consumption of the new age consumer has certainly seen a shift from the television screen to the two fast growing screens — PC and the mobile, more so the latter. No wonder then that content creators are seriously considering creating content specifically for the web and the mobile.

While some time back, Rajshri.com confirmed that it has developed content specifically for the mobile, now a south based firm PixelKraft has come up with ‘Ram and Ria’, a micro sitcom, made specifically for web consumers. Industry people saw the trend coming, with some strong pointers to healthy content consumption on the web and the mobile.

Rajjat Barjatya, managing director, Rajshri Media, says there is no doubt that this is going to be the future. “Just like when television started and we still had a lot of film content, content companies slowly started creating content specifically for the television, we will soon have more content developed specifically for these new media.”

Although Barjatya is not willing to share more details on this initiative, he says that 90 episodes of approximately three minutes each are in the offing, specifically for the mobile audience. “We are in talks with potential partners trying to sort out other details,” he says.

While we have already seen earlier successful attempts by content companies to make available television content on mobile in its shorter versions, the trend of having content made specifically for the web and the mobile is now catching up.

PixelKraft has tied up with Rediff.com to promote its micro sitcom in a no-cash deal on iShare, a video-sharing platform which operates much like Google’s Youtube.com. iShare was started by Rediff in July 2007. Manish Agarwal, vice president marketing, Rediff.com, says, “iShare has been able to get 1.5 million users by now. We realised that apart from the usual Bollywood and cricket content, there is a need among web users for some different content. While one option was to look at presenting existing content in short capsules, we thought that the time is apt to look at content designed specifically for the web.”

While the tie-up helps Rediff.com to offer more sticky content to iShare users, PixelKraft gets a chance to promote its micro sitcom. The users also won’t be charged for access to the content. The series, which has gone live recently, has already got a great response from audiences online – over 50,000 users have already watched it and have left interesting remarks on the site.

Siddharth S. Kumar, director, PixelKraft, says, “We have thought of a typical plot involving a north Indian girl and a south Indian boy. A total of 40 episodes have been worked on, which took close to 40 days to complete.”

ACK Media, which took over Tinkle and Amar Chitra Katha brands recently, has also beefed up its web operations realising that many readers spend a lot of time on the internet.

L. Subramanyan, CEO, Chandamama, says, “We are looking at possibilities of making our content available on the mobile screen with great interest. In the future, we may make the ‘Vikram Vetal’ stories available in the form of three-minute mobisodes, which should work pretty well, considering the penetration and the multiple operations that the mobile phone has."

The revenue models are not emerging yet. However, what is certain is the demand for mobisodes and webisodes. Barjatya says that the humour series that Rajshri has developed will be available for free as well as paid content, depending upon the deals struck with telecom and web partners. Kumar says that more experimenting will happen in near future with an animated feature series planned by PixelKraft. According to statistics available on TRAI, the total wireless subscriber base stood at 233.63 million at the end of December 2007.