One of the hot selling VAS service is religious ring tones, wall papers and it is quite natural that one of the large players in mobile space will eventually tap into this market.
Airtel has launched Live Aarti – now enabling customers to listen to live prayers from their revered shrines through a simple call on their Airtel mobiles. Airtel’s mobile customers can now listen to live Pujas and Aartis from Tirupati Balaji, Sidhi Vinayak, Shirdi Sai Baba and Bangla Sahib.
I recently did a focus group study for a startup which is tapping into this space and one of the interesting finding was that retired people really want to go to religious places - but they don’t. Be it for health reasons or the fear of an unplanned travel (you can’t really plan till the last leg, since information isn’t available), a lot of religious travellers resort to either joining some of the yahoo/google groups and eventually, they end up downloading the ring tones, mobile/desktop wall papers in order to ‘live’ that moment (and in some cases, cover up for the guilt feeling).
Live Aarti service is bound to get great market traction and hats off to Airtel (or its partners) for the live part, since most of these religious shrines are run under huge bureaucracy/egoism and partnerships like these comes at a premium.
To subscribe, customers simply call 55200 (Tirupati Balaji and Sidhi Vinayak), 55205 (Bangla Sahib) or 55222 (Shirdi Sai Baba) from their Airtel mobile phones and pay a one-time membership fee of Rs. 5 with daily subscription fee of Rs. 2 per shrine only [source].