Over here in the UK, swathes of people follow celebs on Twitter to see what they’re up to, whether the drearily nice microblogs of Peter Andre or Courtney Love going mental, or the sometimes scary postings of M.I.A.
But in India there is a new microblogging craze really taking off which involves no @ signs at all. Companies are paying Rs 10 lakh (approximately $2,139 USD) and Rs 1 crore (approximately $213,949 USD) to sign up to a service called voice blogging with the rate depending on popularity. A user calls a number and hears what the celeb is up to, in their own voice.
Two million subscribers have signed up to UTV New Media’s service Bubble Blog, reports Business Standard, which only has seven celebs signed up. Telecoms operators take about 70 percent of the revenue and the rest of the dosh gets split between the blog platform and the celebrity. It costs 10 rupees a month to sign up which is about 20 cents.
Voice blogging started during the Cricket World Cup in 2007 by a company called Nazara Technologies, having made a dial-in number for Sachin Tendulkar called “Sachin Zone” which would share his views on the matches and different aspects of his life. However, it charged a premium rate as well as a subscription fee. These companies have found that low charges to listen to celebrities go on about whatever rubbish they’re up to gets more people interested.
Affordable voice blogging has seen UTV Media’s service grab over 210,000 ‘followers’ for actress Lara Dutta, while Pooja Gandhi just joined in late June and already has 50,000 followers.
Apparently celebs only blog four or five times a week. It’s good money and good work if you can get it, from the sounds of things.
We’re trying to get these companies interested in Nick Farrell who we are sure many Apple fanboys would pay good money to hear, and get annoyed by.
We’re not sure if the quirky platform could take off on these shores. However with careful and misleading positioning by unscrupulous peddlers of mobile tat, we imagine with Britain’s celebrity-obsessed culture, people could easily be duped into paying £3.50 a week to hear Jordan chat about Alex Reid, or Kate Nash speaking about how grapefruits are “bittah”.