While the smartphone business is the sexiest market right now, there’s still lots of money to be made in from people who are still using feature phones. That is what Telkomsel, Indonesia’s largest mobile telco, wants to do with its new premium video service for feature phone users called Video 500. It launched this week.
All of the on-demand video streaming content costs Telkomsel users about IDR 500 (4 cents) plus tax – hence the name of the service. Users can access the videos through Klip.Telkomsel.com. The videos are showcased based on categories like music, comedy, top buys, and gossip. There’s also information about how long each video runs.
Video 500 can only be accessed by Telkomsel users via 2G or 3G services. Wi-fi connections, as well as Opera Mini and Nokia Xpress browsers, can’t access the site.
The project is run together with Vuclip, whereby both parties will keep on adding videos to the database. Singapore telco SingTel is an investor in both Telkomsel and Vuclip, so it’s not so surprising to see the two of them link up like this.
Is there problem to solve?
Of course, current feature phone users do have access to online videos via sites like YouTube, so why does anyone need Video 500?
The main reason is that a number of feature phones don’t support wi-fi, so each streamed video could end up costing more than IDR 500 (4 cents) for each view over mobile data. Telkomsel’s fixed fee for each video could save users some money.
Out of Telkomsel’s 125 million users, only 16 million of them are smartphone users right now. So there’s still a huge amount of feature phone users to rake more money from.
Indonesian telcos are still rolling out features to monetize from its feature phone users. Feature phone users on the XL Axiata network can use Line stickers via SMS, for example. The country’s top three telcos – Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL Axiata – also offer carrier payment for gaming platform Kotagames.
(Editing by Steven Millward)