Monday, December 04, 2006

A μMoney update: Online photos and DVD rentals

From my last post about μMoney I've had some further ideas in two areas: Online photo printing and DVD rentals.

For the online photo printing, someone suggested that people who don't have access to photo printers may send their photos using MMS to a printer who can print/deliver/get paid.

But I believe most people do not have the ability to MMS their photos over. I think what might be a good idea is to have kiosks in malls which can accept cash or cards, and where you can connect your phone (all sorts of connectors, all sorts of phones). A touchscreen shows you the photos on your phone, you select what you want, and the photo comes out a little chute. Rs. 10 per photo. This can also be customised to a "send photo" option. Addresses can be read from a credit card or you can use different "ship to" addresses. And why stop at mobile phones: Allow cameras as well.

I like that idea, actually. An experiment in Forum mall in Bangalore may be a good idea; a one month manned kiosk (so no credit cards are needed initially) to gauge response. Can be done as a beta for Nokia mobiles exclusively. Hmm. Anyone game?

DVD Rentals: One thing of concern is that people buy pirated DVDs at 30 Rs. a movie (so I hear), which can kill the rental industry. Of course quality can be the head turner.

My thoughts: Quality is not so much an issue anymore. You can get pirated DVDs that have the same quality for something like Rs. 100, inclusive of a printed sheet and a DVD case. The issue here is the local dvd rental shop (of which at least one exists per area in India I would think) which buys such DVDs and rents them out. That simply kills the online DVD rental by undercutting.

But still, there is an interesting market for sitcoms and perishable content, which is too high strung and technical for the local shop. Essentially, get the producers to send you content over the wire, and you stream it to your local offices (of course you have local offices). Streaming is done on demand (when a customer wants a certain episode set) The local office then receives the stream and burns a DVD - a process that can take 10 minutes for a rewritable DVD (apart from the download time, which you can shunt out through quality lines and torrent style non-public peering). Royalties and revenue shares are the way to go, and investment isn't too high.

What do you think?

3 comments: said...

Hello Deepak, Your first business proposition does sound interesting. However, I quite didn't make much from the second idea.

"Essentially, get the producers to send you content over the wire, and you stream it to your local locations when they need it. All they do is burn a DVD...

Who exactly are your referring to by "you" and "they" above? Is the flow something like "Content Producer" -> Startup(Distributor) -> "Local DVD Shop" -> "End User" or something else?

Deepak Shenoy said...

You're right, that was bloody confusing :)

I have fixed the text, I think. You have it down pat but slightly different:

Content producer->You the online rental shop in Mumbai where it all happens-> your local city office say in Delhi or BLR where customers demand episodes -> End user who's renting out the DVD.

Anonymous said...

Deepak you want to get in touch with me-- Vinay ceo- formerly

will speak to you on some bits that you have .. pl email