Reel to real: Hungama to load movies on mobile-phone cards

Reel to real: Hungama to load movies on mobile-phone cards
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First Published: Wed, Mar 14 2007. 12 16 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Mar 14 2007. 12 16 AM IST
Imagine watching a movie while standing in line at the passport office or waiting for a bus on the way to work. Hungama Mobile is preparing to announce something of this sort soon, a source in the company, who did not wish to be identified, said.
Mobile–phone users will be able to view a full-length Bollywood film by slipping a digital memory card into a slot on the side of a mobile phone. Hungama Mobile is partnering with France-based Actimagine Corp., which creates video display software for customers such as Nintendo, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Sony Pictures Digital and Fisher Price.
Hungama Mobile, headed by Neeraj Roy, owns worldwide mobile-content rights for almost seven out of every 10 Bollywood movies released.
The company declined to comment on the issue. However, Mathilde Lorenzi, marketing and communication manager in Actimagine’s Paris office, confirmed the partnership and said more details would emerge over the course of the year. The source at Hungama said an announcement could come as early as the end of March.
If Hungama’s plan works out, consumers will be able to walk into a store and buy a memory card with a Bollywood movie already loaded onto it. Once the consumer is finished with the movie, the card could be reused as a memory card, or it could be reloaded at retail kiosks or online, with a new movie.
The digital cards would be compatible with phones made by most major handset manufacturers, and would not allow copying.
In an interview to trade journal Mobile Marketing Magazine Actimagine CEO André Pagnac said: “Bollywood is one of the fastest-growing entertainment industry segments, so the deal between Actimagine and Hungama Mobile will appeal not only to the 160 million mobile–phone users in India but to (users in) markets across all continents”.
The prices of the card and reloads have not been decided, said the source.
Actimagine announced its patented Mobiclip—the technology that brings video onto the mobile phone—in December. Mobile Marketing said that Hungama Mobile chose Actimagine because its product offers DVD-like quality but does not drain the battery, a critical problem most videofor-mobile companies need to address.
It is also compatible with all operating systems, according to an Actimagine press release.
Hungama has big plans for the mobile-entertainment space and has already launched a mobile Bollywood channel in 25 countries.
And Roy wants to increase the number of countries where Hungama offers digital downloads related to Bollywood from 30 to 75, and launch a mobile-TV–related application. There is a large market for Bollywood abroad, he said, because it has become “the new spice of international entertainment.” Now, it’ll be on the move too.
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First Published: Wed, Mar 14 2007. 12 16 AM IST
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