Rajshri Media launches Broadband Portal

ContentSutra has a story on Rajshri Media’s launch of its broadband portal. [I am an investor in Rajshri Media.]

Rajshri Media, the digital media arm of bollywood production and distribution house Rajshri Productions, has launched a broadband portal Rajshri.com for entertainment and premium video content. The company owned by the Barjatyas is also premiering their home production VIVAH online. The movie will be available for download or live streaming from Friday 12 PM. This is the first time an Indian movie is premiering online – simultaneously being released in theatres and also online. VIVAH is available for $9.9 per download. And the DRM (Digital rights management) licence will expire after 72 hours.

The site is mainly targeted NRIs and non-Indians living abroad but interested in Indian entertainment content. Currently it has aggregated content worth 3,000 hours which include movies, music videos, historical videos and documentaries. Quite an amazing collection of broadband content, and it looks like Rajshri has a winner here. Besides, the Barjatyas are bollywood insiders and so they have a competitive advantage over others in aggregating the bollywood content at much better terms.

CIOL has more:

Rajshri Media has already aggregated more than 3,000 hours of premium Indian video content across multiple genres. Rajshri.com also features film and non-film music videos, concerts, humour clips, short films and documentaries licensed from the most respected individuals and organisations of their fields.

Commenting on the future plans, Barjatya said, Going forward, Rajshri Media plans to aggressively build depth and breadth in each content category of rajshri.com, add exciting new features to the site on a regular basis, launch comprehensive sections on astrology, numerology, Indian food and spirituality besides others, add regional language content across multiple categories and integrate rich content repurposed for mobile phones, iPods and other digital devices.

He added, Rajshris aim is to reach out to the consumer through the four screens in his life cinema, television, computer and mobile. We plan to create and develop original programming for new media and digital devices, which has the potential to spawn an entirely new digital entertainment revolution in the days to come.

Mobile 2.0 Learnings

[via Vinu] Brian Fling has a summary of the Mobile 2.0 conference. Among them

If Mobile 2.0 is the Web, then the mobile web browser is the next killer app. There were many discussions about the future of mobile browsers, their capabilities and the what the future holds.

Of particular concern is how device fragmentation factors into mobile browsers. For example, how can we expect developers to support 30+ different mobile browsers? Luckily both myself and Charles from Opera had a chance to answer this question explaining that simple XHTML Basic code, with simple CSS will render fairly consistently across most modern handsets.

Creating mobile web applications instead of software applications is of a lot of interest. The mobile community is really looking at the web 2.0 revolution for inspiration. They see the success of small iterative development cycles and want to apply it to mobile.

Frugal Computing

Nicholas Carr writes:

As the economic and political costs of client-server computing grow, the shift to more efficient computing systems will accelerate. That’s not only going to change the nature of IT investment and management, it’s going to change the IT industry. Who will the winners be? We can’t know for sure, but some companies are well positioned to reap benefits from the change. There are, for instance, a handful of traditional suppliers – Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and AMD, among them – that have made energy efficiency a priority. That gives them a technical and marketing advantage that they may be able to sustain.

The biggest winners, though, will be the users of IT. Although the transition to the post-client-server world will be difficult, companies will end up with cheaper, more efficient, and more flexible information systems. And, as Brian Hayes pointed out, we shouldn’t underestimate the aesthetic and ethical benefits for IT professionals. Doing more with less is more satisfying than doing less with more.

TECH TALK: Two-Sided Markets: Business Application

In an interview with HBS Working Knowledge (March 2006), Andrei Hagiu discussed out the practical aspects of the ongoing research in the area of two-sided markets:

  • The pricing structurethat is, how much to charge to one side relative to othersmatters; and in order to determine the optimal pricing structure one needs to carefully analyze the relative interdependencies among the multiple sides as well as their willingness to pay and join the platform. More often than not, one has to subsidize the participation of one side, i.e., forego profits there, in order to derive them from other sides.
  • The scope of the platform is also a key decision variable: More than determining competitive advantage under an exogenously given industry structure, many platforms are in a position to change the structure of their industry by their decision of how much vertical and/or horizontal integration to have. Vertical disintegration and licensing can help expand the market, but vertical integration allows for tighter control and perhaps higher profit-extraction power. Horizontal expansion can bring in new sides and create more sources of profits by unleashing new virtuous circles of value; but at the same time they bring the platform in competition with new competing platforms from previously separate industries.
  • Managers should be clearly aware of the fundamental economic functions performed by their platformsthese functions are the main sources of competitive advantagein order to be able to make the best decisions on what new functionalities and services to build and enhance. They should always look first for those functionalities/services that enhance and enrich the core functions they already perform as they offer the highest synergies and payoffs, rather than adding functionalities related to fundamental functions they do not yet have, which could prove distracting and counterproductive.
  • Understanding two-sided markets is especially critical for entrepreneurs and managers in the Internet and mobile space. One of the dominant models that has emerged over the years is that of giving away services for free. While this has been around for some time, the Internet provides scale which would never otherwise have been possible previously. The combination of software engines and contextual advertising has made Google a powerhouse on the Internet. The next big opportunity is on the mobile. What will be the equivalent on the mobile Internet where screen-size limitations and user impatience could potentially limit advertising. I can imagine mobile content (ringtones, wallpapers and games) being offered for free at a not-too-distant future subsidised by advertising. This can shift power from mobile operators in India who keep a lions share of the end-user charges to platform providers who can build direct-to-consumer relationships and enable advertisers to connect with this audience.

    We are in for interesting times. With a fast-changing landscape in the world of technology, a company like YouTube can come from seemingly nowhere, build an audience of tens of millions and get sold for $1.65 billion all in less than a couple of years. Web 2.0 companies are using network effects to build new platforms to compete with incumbents. In India, too, we will see the emergence of innovative companies leveraging new ideas and new technologies. Two-sided markets are going to be the heart of many of these innovations.

    Continue reading TECH TALK: Two-Sided Markets: Business Application