Worldspace India Private Limited plans to invest US $ 25 million in India over the next three years for creating content, marketing and promotions of the Worldspace digital audio broadcast service. The Indian operations has already seen an investment of US $3.5 million in its service which offers a bouquet of 23 channels.
Worldspace launched its services in Pune on Tuesday and plans to launch in 17 Indian cities by February this year. The Worldspace Service was launched in Bangalore in September 2000 and since then around 10,000 receivers have been sold, Mr. Sebastian director business development, Worldspace said. The company is looking at a receiver base of 2,50,000 in a year's time when it completes the national launch and looks at offering the service for advertising.
The multimedia service, which enables downloading without a telephone, will be launched during the second half of the year. The PC card, which will enable this is getting ready and will be made available at Rs 5,000. The company has signed up with BPL Indigo for four channels which include a women's channel and a channel targeting the metros.
Another tie-up with Asianet is being signed for offering two regional channels in Tamil and Telugu. Asianet is already offering Worldspace programming in Malayalam and Kannada. Worldspace on its own is also setting up one dedicated Indian channel which it plans to take across the globe.
For sales and distribution of the digital receivers, Worldspace has a tie-up with BPL. The imported receiver sets, being manufactured by Hitachi, JVC, Sanyo and Panasonic, are being sold at a range of Rs 4,950 to Rs 11,000. The tie-up with BPL is likely to manufacture these sets by July this year.