With a vast geographic presence in around 50 countries globally, Bangalore-based OnMobile is betting big on strengthening its mobile entertainment business, i.e. video and gaming across multiple geographies. The company has already launched ONMO Games, a subscription-based gaming service and is gearing up to launch a video content service too in the coming weeks.
Sanjay Bhambri, COO, OnMobile Global speaks on the drastic change that happened in the mobile entertainment industry in the last two years with the advent of 4G and how the company is banking on those changes to strategize its expansion plans further, and into the upcoming 5G era as well.
Could you talk about some of your new initiatives?
Being in a mobile-first country, and a pioneer in the Indian mobile entertainment business, we are focusing a lot of our efforts in strengthening our position in this particular segment. Keeping the drastic change in India’s data consumption pattern in mind, we are currently focusing on adding more products and services like video and gaming into our portfolio. We have already launched our gaming platform in Spain. And now, we are working on to create dedicated video destinations for different markets including India. The focus would be more on adding more regional contents in different languages. Currently, there is not much content aggregation happening outside English and Hindi. Our focus, therefore, will be to fill the void with more regional content. To start with we will focus on few Indian languages such as Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Bengali. Once the demand starts growing, we will consider expanding into more languages eventually.
What kind of content would you like to focus on globally outside India?
It will vary by geography we are targeting and by the tastes and preferences of the target user segment in those particular geographies. For example, while in Europe, we have seen a great demand for the DIY videos made by amateurs and professionals, we have seen a good demand for kids and youth-centric content in Latin America and Europe as well. Hence, we are not following a universal content curation strategy across all geographies, but rather focusing on identifying the demands of a specific geography and then catering to the tastes of the target user segments accordingly.
What’s our strategy on the gaming front? Are you following an aggregation model there too?
The average attention span of the users today are very less, which makes it very challenging for the gaming companies to keep the gamers engaged on any one particular game. From the gamers’ perspective also, it does not make much sense to pay for one particular game. A dedicated gaming destination with a monthly subscription model is a more viable option for them, as it gives the option to choose and play from a wide catalogue of games and that’s where we are focusing on. Besides refreshing the catalogue from time to time, we have introduced a few elements like parental control and segmentation as per genres, and users’ age group and choices, etc.
Would you like to talk about some of the challenges you are facing in the market today?
The consumer behavioural pattern is evolving fast with technology enhancements available at constantly falling price points- which makes it challenging for the service providers to keep up with their expectation. The market is also becoming highly fragmented in the process, and that makes it even more difficult to predict the behavioural pattern of the users as well.
How will 5G impact the gaming and mobile entertainment industry going forward?
Content consumption has changed drastically with the advent of 4G and with 5G it is going to catapult into a different level altogether. The data consumption today is not limited to chat, social networking, music, and video only; an enormous volume of data today is being consumed for gaming and live streaming purposes as well. The demands for high-definition and 4K videos are not very high today, but it will grow drastically with 5G coming into the picture. Fundamentally, anything that has a very low latency and high-speed requirements, will become a reality in the 5G regime. For example, online gaming, and the applications of Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality(VR) will become more commonplace. But the adoption and uptake will depend on the availability of 5G technologies, the cost of obtaining them, and the maturity of the 5G ecosystem.