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Indiatimes on a digital overdrive, bounty includes v-blogs, moblogs, IP TV – Whatever!

25-August-2005
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Indiatimes on a digital overdrive, bounty includes v-blogs, moblogs, IP TV – Whatever!

Come November and Indiatimes will take a huge leap forward in the digital multi-media world through ‘broadband-enabling’ its whole content. Revealing the ambitious plan to exchange4media, Sanjay Trehan, Head, Broadband, Times Internet Ltd, said, “Indiatimes will move from linear textual format to multi-media format and all our offerings, viz, content, e-commerce, community will now become broadband-enabled.”

Explaining his strategy, Trehan said, “We are aiming to be a multi-media content aggregator, where we will be forging alliances with players in national and international arena. The objective will be to get rich media content on a revenue sharing basis.”

Declining to reveal the names of the players Indiatimes was trying to forge an alliance with, Trehan said that the talks were at an advanced stage with some ‘over a dozen’ big international players and a deal would be finalised soon.

Further explaining the roadmap and deadlines he had set for himself, Trehan said that the ambitious plan would be carried out in three phases. “In the first phase, we will be broadband-enabling our content products and community. We will also be launching e-learning and will provide middle to senior school level Science and Mathematics courses on a paid manner.”

In phase one itself, Indiatimes will also be launching a host of new products, like interactive media player, broadband tabloid, video blogs (v-blogs), mobile blogs (moblogs) and video-on-demand. “The broadband tabloid will have digitalised model portfolios, glamour, fashion shows, crime and sports in an audiovisual format,” Trehan said.

In November, the news channel Times Now is expected to be launched from the Times Group platform, which already has a glamour channel – Zoom. Trehan plans to capitalise on the rich content that he will be having from these two channels. “In the first phase itself, Zoom and Times Now will be streamed as a part of the broadband offering on a subscription based revenue model,” he informed.

The second phase would focus on e-commerce. “In this phase, we will be broadband-enabling travel, hotels and consumer durable section of e-commerce, where audio-visual walkthroughs of hotel properties and 3-D product demos will add further value to our competitive e-commerce pricing strategy,” Trehan said.

The third and most ambitious phase is expected to witness the launch of IP TV among other yet-to-be finalised plans. He also hinted at launching a wiki-like solution customised to the Indian content.

The first phase of revamp would be completed by middle of November this year, the second phase in early April, 2006, and the third phase by the middle of 2006, Trehan said.

When asked whether Indiatimes was also looking at providing access services, Trehan said, “Currently, we are looking at being a broadband content aggregator and will see how the market develops in that field.”

On his target of revenue generation from the new plan, Trehan said, “While we are working out the projections, the key source of revenue will be rich media advertisement, revenue-sharing with other portals, user subscriptions and sponsorships.”

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