MTS LAUNCHES CONTENT STORE
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Last week, we launched Omlet.ru
– an online and mobile content portal that offers the largest selection of licensed videos, music and games. The goal behind this is to further stimulate our content revenues, which already contribute significantly to our performance. For example, content revenues for the full year 2008 were around 9 billion rubles with the second quarter 2009 revenues growing 31% year-on-year.
The new content portal is unique to our markets as it offers a high degree of interoperability between mobile devices and PCs / laptops as well as the necessary flexibility in terms of access network (e.g. EDGE vs. 3G) and phone model. Omlet.ru
also offers a “dual delivery” system, whereby purchased music tracks can be downloaded to both a mobile device and a computer.
Given the nature of our business, MTS is best positioned to offer paid content as we already have the necessary financial arrangements with our subscribers and can utilize their pre-paid accounts for content purchases. This differs from the Western markets where the vast majority of content stores rely on credit card payments whereas the Russian credit market is still its early development stages.
By the virtue of our customer base and brand recognition, our content portal has already become a major force in the Russian Internet space. In test mode since April 2009, the portal attracted around 1.5 million users. It must be noted that there is a lack of legal content providers in Russia at the moment, and piracy is widespread. MTS is one of a few companies able to sign partnerships with the entertainment industry’s major players. Recently, we signed an agreement with Paramount Pictures that allows our customers to watch streaming videos for free and download them for a price lower than they would pay for a pirated copy on the streets.