Got a problem? SMS! Got a solution? SMS!!!!!

The idea of posting this particular post struck me this morning when I was listening to Radio City just before leaving to start my day, rather early……….the RJ was rattling off about some song to be played with Anuradha Sriram and some other big name having sung together. And people are supposed to SMS guessing the song……..[for those who don’t know, these “VAS (Value Added Services) SMSEs” cost Rs. 3 per SMS!]……only yesterday, the Remix Raja contest participants’ songs were to be played and people are supopsed to vote for the song they like the most! How? Again, through SMS!!!!

Since I am a SMS freak myself (unfortumately only the “free ones” that Spice provides at the rate of 100 SMSes per day), I wondered if all these so-called contests were being organized from the point of view of money to be earned by the cellular service operators and the Radio Network!!!!! Because, if you have a query, send SMS, if you feel good, send SMS, if you’re feeling bad, send SMS, if you’ve found yourself a new girlfriend, send SMS, if you’re broken off, send SMS, if you’ve got a job, send SMS, if exams are going on, send SMS………………..humph humph………and the list goes on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the one that amazes the most is: Whatever it is that you want to say, all you need to do is to type in your message and send it to 7007!!!! You spend Rs. 3 for sending a message that may never be read! Or will never be telecast…..and you will not even know whatever it is that happened to your SMS………

The other day, Radio City triumphantly announces a JACKPOT contest where you’re supposed to send a SMS saying JACKPOT to some number and if you’re lucky, you get to win a lakh rupees………….and the cost of the SMS, Rs. 10 per message!!!! So, if 100000 people send messages (or let’s say 10000 messages are received, as people will send multiple messages too for the hope of winning a lakh rupees), it amounts to a lakh of rupees! And some ONE person gets to win the money! So, it’s a mere recirculation of money! So, YOUR money may be paid off to someone else, for having done nothing more than sending a message!

This is still ok, you win some money! Yesterday was Dr. Rajkumar’s birth anniversary! And the RJ announced that whoever has ANY incident to tell related to Dr. Rajkumar can message! Considering the fact that Dr. Rajkumar very much walked the roads of this city, ate here, moved around here, there must have been a couple of thousands of people who had EXPERIENCES to narrate! And if all of them send one message each, it’s a couple of thousands circulated already! And how many get to get “On Air”???? Three……….funny na!!!!!!!

Not only this, the other day, I happened to watch some TV (I always have some bad experience to relate to whenever I sit down to watch TV). And there was this channel showing some soap! I don’t remember which one (partly because there are just so many of them on TV and partly because I don’t care a penny for these soaps). And the idea was to GUESS what will happen in the next episode! And, needless to say, one’s supposed to send a message GUESSING the events of the next episode!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This reminds me of the times when a program called “Surabhi” used be on Doordarshan! Lakhs of people used to send in post-cards giving answers to the questions asked every week. That was when even Postal Department made quick buck by introducing special competition post-cards, costing some Rs. 3 each or some such thing!

So, isn’t the “HOPE” of winning a jackpot, the “HOPE” of patching up with one’s friend/lover/spouse by dedicating a song on TV, the “NEED” to be on Air filling the pockets of the Cellular Operators? With the SMSes doing rounds like THAT, there’s little doubt left though!!!!!!!!!


(PS: Well, to tell you frankly, I have sent SMSes myself to Radio City, but that was for a contest where one was supposed to cook up “INNOVATIVE” names for two characters of a love-story. And I came up with Dhana”stinking rich”Lakshmi and Moorkhanand Saraswati…..and guess what, I won myself Joggers’ Park CD for this one!) 🙂

PS2: Some data to back my blog up:

During the voting period from November 2004 to March 2005, Indian Idol got more than 55 million votes via SMS. At Rs 3 per SMS, that is Rs 16.5 crore (Rs 165 million). The telecom companies made Rs 11.5 crore (Rs 115 million), and Sony about Rs 5 crore (Rs 50 million).

As these three main protagonists — media, mobile and aggregators — get together, a Rs 2,300-crore (Rs 23 billion) market has been created, says a Lehman Brothers report. (This includes texting and is not just operator share.)

In 2005, the Indian music industry got about Rs 140 crore (Rs 1.40 billion) or 20 per cent of its legitimate revenues from mobile music. “These days film producers stress on mobile marketing,” says Shatadru Sarkar, deputy manager (new media), Saregama. “A hit film can generate Rs 1-1.2 crore (Rs 10-12 million) — about 5 per cent or more of an album’s sale — on mobile revenues,” says Shridhar Subramaniam, managing director, Sony-BMG. Its big mobile hit of the year is Rang De Basanti.

By 2010, the report estimates mobile data to be a $10-billion (Rs 43,000-crore) market in India.

Radio Mirchi gets 40,000-45,000 SMSes a day in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. As a radio station, it is a great tool for engaging listeners.



  1. unforgiven said,

    April 26, 2006 at 6:41 am

    Mobile companies have run out of ideas to make more money. Most people who need a cellphone already have one.

    So well, what could they do?

    They gave us dumb consumers yet another toy to play with, which cost very little money, made us feel involved and well, frankly walked to the bank with it 🙂

    Everyone makes money. The mobile company. The company the message is being sent to.

    Everyone, except us 🙂

  2. fuse me said,

    April 26, 2006 at 7:02 am

    Hmm..fortunately i’ve never used a PAY SMS….

    But I guess it should be some sort of entertainment for people, since they do so much of it..

    Maybe it is just HOPE as you put it

  3. Pritesh said,

    April 26, 2006 at 7:51 am

    Ya, I guess, HOPE keeps this SMSing business going! And despite the whopping prices, people opt for messaging!

    And true Rahul, everyone makes money, except fors us!

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