Excl: on HTML 5: More streaming options, more social connect

31 Aug, 2012, a digital entertainment store offering full length music tracks, videos, ringtones, mobile wallpapers and more, is launching its new version on HTML5 in a couple of weeks.

The upgrade to the new version would enable one to listen and stream on all iOS platforms (iPhone, iPad and iPod), and also on android and Windows 8. You can also download content on android and Windows 8 platforms. The service already exists for BlackBerry and Symbian interfaces.

Siddhartha Roy, COO (consumer business and allied services) at Hungama, told, "Version 2 of Hungama, which will be on HTML5, will be device agnostic. It will also have more social connect. We already have a social music app called Hungama My Play. But with version 2, sign-in will be through social media and there will be more connect via social feeds. And there's no need to re-register for the new version."

So one can sign in through all popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc., and get social feeds. The latest upgrade also means more streaming options, more focus on apps and music on the cloud.

Currently, the entertainment content on the site is partially DRM (digital rights management) protected and partly DRM-free. DRM-protected essentially means content downloaded on one device cannot be copied to another, either as backup or as a transfer. Flipkart's own digital store Flyte is one instance of legal, DRM-free digital content available in India.

Hungama has a paid content revenue model, which includes single downloads of songs, etc., for Rs 10, and also a rolling subscription and package model for content that allows fixed or unlimited download. The unlimited download option is DRM-protected.

The company is also going to have a freemium model for the new launch.

But there are other music streaming sites like Gaana, Dhingana, Saavn, where music streaming is available for free. So why would one buy similar content?

"Customers almost always want to own the content," explained Roy. "With connectivity issues and bad quality of streaming, listeners prefer to download the content, store it and listen to it whenever he/she wants to. So paying for the content makes sense.", a part of the parent company Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd, has been operational for the past two years. It has acquired 858,000 unique visitors on the web alone, as per the latest comScore data (this doesn't include the WAP listeners). With the current preview and download options, Hungama claims to have 22 million transactions, of which 95 per cent is via mobile.

"We will have interesting packages for subscription-based models and some innovative marketing strategy involving both above-the-line and online avenues will follow soon," added Roy.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)