Update: Anuj Kumar, Executive Director (South Asia) at Affle, informs that the content is owned by Affle and outsourced from a contracted editorial partner. He refused to share the name of the partner, however, he mentioned that the Journalists who report, have access to team dressing rooms and work under pseudonyms like Foxy Lady, Rocky Bhai and Captain Sansani. The magazine is already available through Mobile ESPN, Airtel Live and Tata Docomo’s mobile portals.
Mobile messaging and advertising company Affle, has launched ‘Dressing Room’ – a mobile magazine which features content covering off field action on cricket and has been divided into sections like HotKhabar, Loudspeaker, AndarKiBaat, TimePass, SuperOver and others, featuring gossip, trivia, and other related stories, in addition to cricket scores.
The content offered by ‘dressing room’ is more on the lines of a tabloid, focusing on gossip and cricket related entertainment stories, in a mix of Hindi and English. The stories are short, with a lot of colloquial slang, clearly matching the premise of the magazine. It also offers sharing on social networks like twitter and facebook, in addition to reader comments. It has been created by Affle’s editorial partners, and the entire magazine is sponsored by HUL’s Vaseline.
The magazine can be accessed through mobile web browsers on m.cricketdressingroom.com, or via native Android and iPhone apps. The native apps just feature content from the mobile-web site and do not offer any additional functionality. Affle plans to partner mobile networks to feature the magazine on their network portals. Content from ‘dressing room’ is also featured on FM radio station Red FM.
Stakes On Cricket
We wonder what prompted a marketing company like Affle, to create content properties for advertisers. It seems it is more about capitalizing on the cricket mania, with the World Cup and IPL tournaments back to back. Specially, when this is not the first such venture from Affle.
It had launched a mobile based cricket rating system site, named Cricket Maharathi with Maruti Suzuki on board as a sponsor, in March. The mobile-web site works like a leaderboard, where users rate a player as performer of the day, and win prizes if they get they get the highest ratings. Affle claims that they registered 4 million unique users during the ICC World Cup, and have extended it for the IPL. It also plans to bring the voting platform to SMS and native mobile apps.
Affle’s other products and services for mobile phones include SMSLive, which is the next version of its SMS2.0 app, Pinch Instant Messenger, and Coufon which delivers discounts and promotions on mobile phones. In addition to deploying advertisements on its own apps, it also power sells ads on networks of other mobile operators and companies including Airtel (powers advertising on voice services, SMS services, bills and everything outside of Airtel Live), Tata, NDTV Convergence and Mobile ESPN.
In February 2011, Japanese mobile advertising firm D2 Communications (Dentsu-Docomo) had invested in affle and the two had entered into a strategic agreement to provide mobile advertising solutions.