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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Three New Launches

A slew of new launches have hit the headlines recently. Let’s take a look at some of them:


No prizes for guessing that SeventyMM’s business is related to the film industry. On the lines of popular US online movie rental services like Netflix and Blockbuster, SeventyMM plans to launch an online movie rental service in India. It will launch its service in Bangalore and and then slowly extend it to other metros. Few attractions are the huge database and the free shipping. IMHOT he average film viewer who normally watches only recent movies (of the popular variety) might not graduate to this kind of service at the moment.

Members have the choice of two subscription plans, starting at an introductory price of Rs.199 per month for a Basic Plan of 4 movies a month. With the more attractive and popular Unlimited Plan at an introductory price of Rs.549 a month, members can rent as many movies as they want and keep them as long as they want. We ship you two movies at a time with both the plans.The best part is that members can get the service for free by getting six friends to sign-up under our Free-for-Six program.

My understanding is that pirated versions of popular English movies are easily available and VCD / DVD containing 2 – 3 movies can be obtained for a price of Rs. 50 – 100. People interested in classics and rare movies would really be keen on joining this. Given that it is India, we can expect people to form groups of 2/3 members each and join the unlimited plan. Lot of video rental shops went out of business because of the entry of Cable TV (particularly the popularity of channels like Star Movies & HBO). The entry of 70 MM might not spell doom to your neighbourhood video rental shop, but he might just offer cheaper rentals and longer rental period just to retain you.

Hot Male is back with VoiFi

HotMail founder Sabeer Bhatia has launched a new VoIP service called VoiFi. Although it looks like yet another Skype / Gtalk / Yahoo Messenger kind of service, I hope that their intention is not to offer a similar service under a different name. I did download VoiFi to test it out, but got an error message saying that the server is not reachable. Calls at Re. 1 / min seem to be the flavour of the season and VoiFi is no different.

VoiFi Beta, is an instant messaging (IM) service and a peer-to-peer telephony software that also offers calls for Re 1 from any part of the world to India.

The software has gaming content like “War Zones”, “Snakes and Ladders”, “Tic-Tac-Toe” and a version of the Indian poker called “Teen Patti”, enabling users to play games while on IM or voice calls.

Although the news report says that VoiFi offers calls to India at Re. 1, I could not find any information about VoiFi’s PC-to-Landline and PC-to-Mobile services in their website. If Sabeer Bhatia is really serious about providing calls to India at Re. 1, I’m sure it will prove to be an instant hit.


The founders of BharatMatrimony.com have launched a new online classified site called Indialist.com. Given the fact that popular international classified sites like Craigslist started their Indian editions recently, its natural to expect Indian players to act fact so that they grab a piece of the action. The power of an online classified service comes from the strength of its database and one should say that the Craiglist editions for the various Indian cities have not really made a mark so far. Classifieds for matrimonial and jobs have already moved online and it is just a matter of time before which other classifieds for properties (rental and resale), automobiles (resale) move online. It’s still unclear as to how they intend to make money through IndiaList.

Back in the good old days, print media had total control over classifieds. Getting up at 5.30 / 6 on a Sunday morning and making calls to landlords regarding the rental classified (I’m referring to The Hindu here) was the only way one can even aspire to get close to renting a home. I have heard stories of people (potential tenants) making calls to landlords at 8 am and getting to know that somebody has already paid the advance / token advance. With the arrival of online rental classifieds, ads will be posted at regular intervals and hence tenants and landlords can have a peaceful sleep on Sunday morning.

Another interesting trend is the gradual shift of rental classifieds from the general dailies (The Hindu, Indian Express) to neighbourhood newspapers (Mylapore Times, Anna Nagar Times & Mambalam Times).


  • The Seventymm service will do better business in Chennai than Bangalore, owing to CAS. Hope they launch it soon here.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:42 PM  

  • I was quite interested when I read the article in the paper. But after checking it out I don't think I would go in for it. Its basically for people who havn't seen too many movies. :) People like me who love watching old movies or foreign language movies or cult classics or low budget movies will not get the same from here. The same I would get from a National Market at 100 rupees or from China (whenevr someone comes frm there). But its a good idea nontheless...lets see how it goes.

    By Blogger maverick, at 11:18 PM  

  • FreeAds (buyer pays; classified ads are free) has become a huge player too.

    By Blogger Boston Bala, at 11:55 PM  

  • Interesting especially the voifi link. Reg. classified, I thought Sulekha.com is already a popular classified site.


    By Blogger SLN, at 4:05 AM  

  • Guess what? A few days back I and my friend were thinking of this concept being introduced in India.
    We were actually thinking how big an impact can piracy do.We had some discussion on how big the market is and what could be the teething problems.We did not have money and I move to Canada and she moves to UK for her studies.So, we thought we'll do something like after some time. But somebody did it even before we could think.I believe there is a market.What we need is good quality prints(DVDs),Better delivery,distribution mechanism and at a affordable rate. I hope something like this kicks off.Old classics and English movies are what would sell..What say?

    By Blogger Indian Blogger, at 1:39 PM  

  • Hey voifi seems to be very good, i will await for the release of 1/min rupee charge from any part of the world to India. I checked the games it's cool


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:50 PM  

  • Everyone who has been holding out on SeventyMM, I encourage you to give it a try. I signed up and have been getting a good selection of movies (and the delivery and pickup are terrific!). They are about to add a bunch of World Cinema movies to their selection. If you sign up at www.seventymm.com, please use my member id (3467) and it will help me get my membership free :-)

    By Blogger moviegirl, at 5:56 AM  

  • hmm...really indialist has done wonders in small time.
    there is another site www.clickindia.com
    coming to my view quite often while browsing the net.
    What appeals to me is its good designing and high speed..

    By Blogger FUN & MASTI, at 8:04 PM  

  • Airtel once proves that it brings the latest tech first and in colloboration with RIM (Research in motion) launches Blackberry which integrates phone ,email and data transactions (all mobile )into one gadget.This launch comes after the launch of edge technology by Hutch last month.India telecom majors are bringing the latest technology.

    internet marketing

    By Blogger peter, at 5:16 PM  

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