In a new inititiative for its Indian audience, BBC Hindi has launched all its audio programmes on the mobile site m.bbchindi.com. The programmes will be available on demand shortly after their broadcast on radio. The mobile site will also provide a one-minute news summary, which will be updated through the day, along with content in text for phones that support it, and as images for those that don’t. Regular audio news updates will be available through 505101074, a number that works on all mobile networks in India.
Amit Baruah, head of BBC Hindi, said that mobile phones are changing the way Indians consume news and information. “The decision to launch this has been due to demand from the Hindi consumer - especially people who want to listen to our audio bulletins in quality,” he explained.
BBC Hindi is said to be the first international broadcaster in India to offer all its audio broadcasts on its mobile site. While BBC Hindi will not charge for this service, telecom service providers will charge their subscribers for downloading of audio files.
Santosh Sinha, BBC Hindi's multimedia editor, said, “The Hindi mobile market is still at a nascent stage. A lot of phones still don't support Hindi text. However, we are confident that our mobile site will be accessible on most mobile phones."
Baruah added, “We have just launched this on all phones. We will await numbers, but the few responses received on email have been very positive.” Radio bulletins and the Hindi website will be used to promote the new offering.