What’s On

LINE India wooing WhatsApp users with music & games

Mobile messaging has seen phenomenal growth in India over the last couple of years. As players in the field of marketing and advertising, services such as WhatsApp, LINE, WeChat and Hike have also tried to innovate in the domain and distinguish their offering from that of its peers.

Damandeep Singh Soni, Country Head of LINE India in conversation with Digital Market Asia, shares how with 181 million monthly active users globally and the No. 1 spot in the ‘free apps’ category of app stores in 69 countries, LINE plans to tackle the Indian market scenario. Going forward, LINE seeks to establish itself in the Indian market with entertainment and gaming as paramount in its marketing strategy.

In the over-saturated market of mobile marketing where mobile companies are talking about using big data and analytics and other services such as geo-tagging, contextual marketing as strategies in the marketing domain, LINE seeks to explore other avenues such as gaming and entertainment in the mobile space and expand its range of services to gather more consumers.

Taking the musical route
Embracing entertainment on mobile, LINE is moving from just being a mobile messaging platform to a live platform. LINE has explored entertainment space with and its acquisition of Microsoft’s MixRadio which reiterates its commitment to music and entertainment. “Music is something we are planning to be something very big for us in the country,” Mr Soni said.

MixRadio, a free personal music streaming service from Microsoft Corporation is expected to transform the music journey for LINE users and and how people access it. Acknowledging the fact that music and entertainment are essential aspects in life, LINE has acquired MixRadio, a highly acclaimed service that offers world’s most personal and truly mobile-optimised music streaming service.

Game on!
According to Economic Survey of India 2014-15, gaming is expected to guide the growth of digital in India and LINE seeks to leverage this opportunity ahead of its competitors in the market. “Gaming is a space we are actively engaged in. We have partnered with a couple of gaming developers who are publishing games on our platform and we are helping users discover the same,” Mr Soni explained. As of September 30, 2014 LINE has released more than 45 games with over 440 million downloads worldwide.

However, Indian consumers will have to wait before they can hog on the benefits on gaming on mobile. “We haven’t launched many of our games in India because they are high on graphics and other attributes. But there are enough innovations in the space which will help us launch those games without compromising the integrity of the game in India,” he added.

Summing up the discussion, Mr Soni said, “As mobile is a personal device, user engagement on the platform is far greater and efficient. But the only challenge is patchy data connectivity in the country. Nevertheless, data penetration is increasing across all sections of the society and the government is committed towards creating a reliable infrastructure around the same.”