Kaleidoscope: On the Path of Innovation

Tasting Different Waters

After 6 glorious years and a whopping 800 mn visits every month, YouTube now decides to sell merchandise and tickets through its video portal. YouTube will be putting into action its new concept through a feature called Merch Store. To launch this, YouTube is tying up with companies like Topsin for selling merchandise and Songkick for selling concert tickets. Amazon is also in the picture as it will cater to transactions for music downloads. Though the financial benefits have not yet been revealed, but YouTube did mention about taking a small percentage of sales to compensate for costs incurred. Surely good news for artists who will be able to sell merchandise, tickets, music, and also engage fans on YouTube as this new face to business transaction on the web evolves. Moreover its part of Googles long-term push to build its music section into a more robust consumer experience while also making more money for their big and small labels and YouTube too.

Excitement and Fun at
Your Doorstep

With rapidly increasing mobile internet usage, Times Groups earlier acquisition of digital rights for IPL and the Cricket World Cup proved to be a huge success. This time, Times Internet, the internet venture of Times Group, signed a deal with the international sports media company Perform, for online and mobile video content rights of English Premier League (EPL)one of the most anticipated football tournaments of English football clubs. Under the exclusive contract meant for the Indian market, the partnership will have video content of the EPL appear across both online and mobile portals of Indiatimes.com. Clips and related content will be available on mobile phones through the Indiatimes 58888 mobile site and its branded mobile portals. The website clips will be delivered across Indiatimes portals as well as via Performs embeddable sports VOD platform ePlayer. Hence the digital copy rights have been safeguarded. So its time the mobile-crazy India shows its craze for Manchester United, Liverpool Chelsea, and of course Arsenal!

Volkswagen India: Breaking the Ice with Customers

Even Das Auto needs to be active on web if it has to lure the net-savvy Indians! Volkswagen India got more interactive with its present and future customers with the new web portal www.planetvolkswagen.co.in, which went live on October 17, 2011a portal dedicated to all auto enthusiasts. Volkswagen Indias budget on digital expenditure has been doubled, and it plans to become one of the most interactive auto companies in India. This move seems to be squarely aimed at getting its target audience (or market) to have a closer experience of the Volkswagen brand online. Apart from features like product and brand promotion, games, a separate section for kids (after all they do influence a buying decision!), feature drive destinations, integration with social networking sites, and more, Planet Volkswagen keeps you engaged with an interesting car-race game while you are waiting for the site to load!

Keeping Alive the Memories

While the computer screens are loaded with tributes to Steve Jobs, why should the mobile screens stay behind? Vuclip, the independent mobile video service company that delivers more than 15 mn videos to consumers in over 200 countries, created a mobile video clip list of the great moments in the history of Apple (http://steve.vuclip.com/), as a mark of its tribute to Steve Jobs, the man behind the genesis of the most wonderful technological spectacles including iPhone. Enjoy
the clips…

Government of India: Creating a New Face

Realizing that the Anna Hazare movement was successful due to the tremendous support received through social media, the Government of India too wants to capitalize on this. It is warming up to the idea of using social media as a medium to connect with the citizens, since they feel almost everyone has an account on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. And, it is high time to gain an insight into the public opinion. It proposes to create a Citizen Engagement framework to take advantage of the situation. However as not many government officials are social media savvy, the Department of Information Technology will create a framework consisting of dos and donts for the same, after approval from various ministries like home, information and broadcasting, which might delay the process a bit. The outcome is for everyone to wait and watch, in an open platform!

(Arranging) Marriage is not such a bad thing

Yahoo! has sold its 12% stake in Consim Info, owner of Bharatmatrimony.com, to Bessemer Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund and Canaan Partners for `100 crore, thus valuing the company at over
`800 crore. Consim had raised $8.65 mn in its first round of funding in 2006 from Yahoo and Canaan Partners, and had further raised $11.75 mn in the second round from Yahoo!, Mayfield Fund, and Canaan Partners in 2008. Bessemer is the new investor this time.

Consim Info, though it operates a few non-matromony sites, is known for its matrimony focus. It has launched sites such as communitymatrimony, privilegematrimony, matrimonygifts, and matrimonymatters targeted at different target groups. BharatMatrimony is the top matrimony site in India, according to the research firm, JuxtConsult.

The valuation assumes significance as of late, there is a concern over viability of matrimony sites in the long run.

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