Radio Mirchi will launch a Visual Radio service in Delhi by the end of this month. It will be available to Hutch and Airtel subscribers who have a compatible handset.
Most of the mid-level Nokia handsets with FM radio tuner are Visual Radio compatible. For example, the Nokia N70, Nokia N71, Nokia N80, Nokia N91, Nokia 3230, Nokia 3250, Nokia 6280, Nokia 7370 etc.
Delhi will become the the third city in the world to have a commercial Visual Radio service after Singapore and Helsinki (Finland).
“We have identified four key markets including Mumbai for launching visual radio. Though it is too early to exploit strong revenues from this medium, it will give us a presence in emerging platforms like mobile phones,” says Entertainment Network (India) Ltd managing director and CEO AP Parigi.
I think Visual Radio has the potential to be a music distribution channel similar in its business model to iTunes. If a listener likes a song that is being played, he can not only get additional tidbits about the song on the screen, but decide on impulse to download the full song onto his handset or purchase its ringtone if the station is offering them.
For those who don’t live in Delhi, Singapore and Helsinki (that is most of us), you can get a good idea about the service and its potential by trying out a mobile radio product called Spodradio. The only difference between a Visual Radio station and Spodradio is that the song is delivered over GPRS/EDGE/3G network in Spodradio.
Animation Xpress explains:
Radio stations are turning to new revenue streams as they are facing competition from emerging technologies. Specific threats from MP3, which had an estimated 55 million devices in the market in 2005, and internet webcasting are eating into the earnings of traditional radio. So the way out is to adopt into new digital platforms like direct-to-home (DTH) and digital audio broadcasting (DAB).
Related: Visual Radio