Premium music services on mobile devices
India has the second largest number of mobile phone users in the world. The penetration of mobile phones reaches into the remotest parts of the country. In this cutthroat industry, telecom operators make their products attractive by offering a bouquet of Value-Added Services (VAS), including music and radio options on the phone. However, given the cluttered marketplace that is Mobile VAS in India, operators are constantly on the lookout for newer innovations and more user-friendly and engaging entertainment solutions.
Vodafone, one of the world’s largest telecom companies, sought to enhance their VAS offering with a premium quality music service. Regular mobile music services comprised short playlists with minimal curation and high repetition that led to monotony, listener fatigue and, inevitably, loss of listenership. It was in bridging this gap between ideas and outcome that Timbre Media’s expertise came to the fore.
Our music solutions can be adapted to any content requirement – genre-specific music, language-based playlists and/or radio stations, customer requests, Top 40, retro hits – you name it, we make it.
Our creative team â€“ once the eclectic and diverse WorldSpace India content team – consists of music experts who are acknowledged trendsetters in intelligent music programming. It was observed that music listeners who use VAS generally do not have access to radio. To fill the lacuna of creative music programming, along with pre-programmed playlists, we decided to incorporate live radio stations that carried the WorldSpace branding. Regular listeners who tired of repetitive playlists would appreciate the spontaneity of radio and its larger library of songs. A high quality radio service would also ensure a loyal listener base.
With eleven live radio stations on offer, the service grew very popular and quickly attained a large, loyal listenership, helping the operator gain traction in an intensely competitive market. This was a best-in-class radio service that set benchmarks. Timbre Media’s VAS solution has now been implemented on other leading mobile platforms across India.
Bespoke music 24×7
The defining feature of our age is the ubiquity of the internet. We rely upon constant connectivity for all our needs from trying to remember that song from that film to making informed choices about ‘things that matter’. It is then the logical next step for ‘radio’ to graduate to its 21st century home – the internet.
Intel, one of the world’s most successful technology companies, tasked Timbre Media with creating a radio service for its retail customers. This service was to be offered as a high quality add-on to the bevy of premium products offered by Intel to its customers. The challenge before us was to identify the musical tastes of the prospective audience about whom there was no definite data.
Considering the low threshold music listeners have for music services, it was essential that we had the audience hooked from the get go. This music service would have to be implemented on personal computers, laptops, tablets, phones and other devices from the client that had access to data services. The most effective solution was an Internet Radio service that could be accessed by all the devices that deployed the client’s hardware.
Timbre conceptualized that the best way to hook an audience was to provide them with the already established and well-remembered concept of multi-genre programming of WorldSpace, the trademark to which is held by us. Leveraging our expertise in radio services and the WorldSpace brand, Timbre Media designed radio stations with multiple on-demand playlists that covered the most popular genres of music in India – Bollywood, Hindi classics, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali etc. This Internet Radio service, with 10 unique, high-quality stations and music that is exclusive to Timbre Media, has proven very popular with the client as well as listeners and continues to enjoy a growing listenership.
Bespoke radio on your TV
Gone are the days when television sets are only for watching television. In a true reflection of the zeitgeist, a TV set is more than just a TV – we can rent films directly to watch; we can play games on them; we can stream online content on them. And now, we can also listen to the radio on TV, thanks to the efforts of Timbre Media.
Among the many new frontiers Timbre Media has explored and thrived in, television is the latest. Our client Airtel DTH planned to augment its services by offering a best-in-class, one-of-its-kind music/radio service, thereby setting themselves apart as premium and exclusive from other DTH service-providers who merely offered public/FM radio on their services. Timbre Media’s well-tested expertise in creating playlists across a wide range of languages and genres, appealing to the connoisseur and the casual listener alike, makes it the perfect choice for a set-up such as this. Timbre Media’s content team has been largely drawn from the erstwhile WorldSpace India team, a very popular subscription-based radio service, with a large and loyal fan base to this day. Timbre still holds the rights for the WorldSpace Satellite Radio brand in India, a unique service that offered music and infotainment stations across 40 genres as diverse as Classic Rock and Bhojpuri and New Age Spirituality. As an established trendsetter in multi-genre programming, the Timbre Team took to this task like the proverbial duck to water. This is was the return of the much beloved and much missed WorldSpace – same team, same music, same spirit, just a different address.
This DTH-service being country-wide, the Timbre team and Airtel collated data on the customer base around various variables like location, language, &c. Based on these statistics, we concluded that 11 language-based radio stations would be implemented on the Airtel DTH set-top box – a pragmatic move to cut additional costs that the customer would incur for a separate receiver. These stations were packaged under the familiar brand names of WorldSpace’s radio stations, with the same meticulous programming that the original WorldSpace stations were famous for. The release of the service has proven very popular not only with old loyalists of WorldSpace but also a new set of listeners discovering this excellently curated music service.
With this latest entry into the DTH market, Timbre Media has embarked upon its new journey of presenting customers a superior, WorldSpace-like music experience and making the television set an all-in-one entertainment unit.