Neeraj Roy is the managing director and chief executive of Hungama, a digital media entertainment company based in Mumbai that recently launched an eponymous music and video app to tap India's rapidly growing smartphone market. Here he talks about the app.
Does iTunes not really cater to the demands of the Indian consumer?
It's not that. I think there is a place for various services. We ourselves as a company, we provide content into iTunes stores. iTunes is at the end of the day catering to the Apple ecosystem, which in markets like ours is still a small ecosystem. You've got the entire Android marketplace. You've also got the Java marketplace, which are the small feature phones. Our objective with this service is to take it to all types of customers.
Can you explain the business model?
We have a basic free streaming and download model. The basic app comes to you for free, which entitles you to audio streaming available to you for free, which will be advertising-funded. The full-length videos come to you at a charge. As you want to download anything, that comes to you at a nominal charge. We licence content from record labels, studios.
Is the Hungama app aimed only at India?
We launched in 80 stores globally. It is catering to the South Asian community globally. Outside of India, we have another 50 million people of South Asian origin who have an interest and affinity for this sort of content. In India what happens is we don't just listen to music. Because our music comes out of the film industry, we watch music.
How many people have signed up?
In a little over two weeks, we crossed a million consumers.