Rediff has launched Slidesongs, a service that lets you mix photos and music.
Once you login to Rediff’s MyPage, you can select photos, audio and wait for Slidesongs conversion. The service is essentially a way to get people to upload rich media content/start using MyPage, and importantly do quite a bit of social sharing (which brings pageviews to Rediff). But frankly, there is nothing exciting about SlideSongs.
Features like these add little value to Rediff, which cannot really boast of a social graph (all earlier attempts to build a social network has met with very little success).
In fact, after testing SlideSongs (its been 30 minutes and the conversion is not yet over), I am surprised to see Rediff’s lack of solid strategy in content business. The site was the one that introduced Internet to a lot of people and lately, simply lost out to foreign products for lack of innovation. Actually, Rediff never competed with Yahoo/Google for user attention – the site just enjoyed its early mover advantage and is now losing all the mindshare.
Rediff faced its first revenue decline in some time; a continued focus on innovation was announced at the same time. The downturn did not help, as ad inventory and revenues both shrunk. Somewhere in the midst of its growth and battling new competition, Rediff lost sight of the audience. They first gave the Indian language approach a shot – Rediffmail was made available in 11 languages – but this was later abandoned as it hardly ever got used. There were a couple of acquisitions for language and transliteration tools. There was an attempt at becoming a player in the search engine wars. There was even a desperate sounding attempt at creating a developer platform – this at a time when the audience itself was thinning! A mobile application was launched, and later Rediff toyed with mobile ads as well. Vakow was bought, and then wrote off reasonably quickly.
It is not that none of the product ideas above had merit, or should have not been attempted. Its just that as a company, there seemed to be a lack of direction, or coherent strategy. Any one product could have been a winner. [what we wrote in our earlier coverage/Remember Rediff?]
Rediff does need to experiment, but bold experiments will change the game. These kiddish features doesn’t excite people, other than Rediff team.
What’s your opinion?