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Visual Radio - The next wave in India ?


Will Visual Radio be a hit with customers in India? With the proliferation of mobile phone users in India, the potential market segments seem to be quite promising. Business Standard reports that, with over 700 stations spanning across the country and mobile penetration on the rise, FM players are now reaching out to listeners via the visual radio route too.

Radio station Radio Mirchi took the leap last year and launched the visual radio service at its Delhi station, in collaboration with Nokia and Hewlett Packard (HP). Currently, visual radio (via Radio Mirchi) is operational in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, and it has plans to roll-out the service at its Bangalore and Pune stations as well.

Listeners pay only for the data service carried via General Packet Radio Service (GPRS). The average rate is Rs 2 per hour (10 paise per 10 KB data download). Radio Mirchi claims the interactive features of the service receive a response rate of as high as 70 per cent.

Radio entertainment is pegged to be a Rs 650 crore market in 2007 and is estimated to grow to Rs 1,700 crore by 2011, according to the latest FICCI-PwC report. India is the third country in the world to have a commercial visual radio service.

Visula Radio :

Visual radio is a service that combines two key personal entertainment options for consumers today – private FM and the mobile phone. With a radio built into your mobile device, you can listen to any FM station you like.

Visual radio shows you what is playing on your phone’s screen. On Visual radio, you can see information on the song currently playing, biographies or pictures of the artist, or you can e.g. immediately download a ringtone of the song that is playing. While listening to a Visual radio-enabled FM channel, you can switch the interactive Visual radio service on or off whenever you want to.

In between, you can enjoy the plain FM radio broadcast just like with any radio station. This also means you use mobile data only when you choose to. Nokia handsets like 7710, 3230, 6230 and N90 series have the visual radio client installed while HP provides the visual radio server.

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