Times Internet inks deal with Hovr

    MUMBAI: Times Internet Limited (TIL), The Times Group’s cross-platform media and entertainment company has announced a partnership with Hovr, a leading ad-supported mobile content and social gaming service. Together, they plan to launch GameZone, India’s first free mobile gaming portal offering hundreds of fun, addictive mobile games to Indian consumers free of cost.
    Through this partnership, tens of millions of mobile subscribers in India will be able to download and play mobile games from Hovr’s extensive portfolio of gaming titles. All mobile games will be available free of cost, and players will be able to challenge friends in multi-player games, compete for high scores and meet and interact with other gamers.
    India’s mobile subscriber base is one of the largest and fastest growing in the world, with more than 235 million subscribers today and growing at over five million subscribers each month. With the penetration of mobile phones far exceeding that of personal computers, the mobile phone is set to become the largest gaming platform in India.
    However, the consumer acceptance for purchasing mobile games has been low because there is a high degree of price sensitivity for mobile games and Indian consumers are savvy and highly value conscious. With a business model that relies on mobile advertising, TIL’s partnership with Hovr is set to shift the entire mobile gaming paradigm in the Indian marketplace by bringing users mobile games free of charge.
    “Based on the sheer number of mobile subscribers and consumer interest in ad-supported mobile content, we believe that mobile marketing is poised to overtake online marketing in India within the next few years,” said TIL CEO and MD Dinesh Wadhawan. “Hovr brings a deep understanding of the Indian market, along with strong, carrier-grade technology, an attractive catalogue of mobile games and a powerful mobile advertising platform.”
    GameZone launched a beta version in December 2007, generating tremendous interest and excitement in the marketplace, attracting hundreds of thousands of users in its first month and gaining substantial interest from advertisers and carriers. TIL will provide wide reach to market and distribute the GameZone offering, and will work in tandem with Hovr to jointly sell mobile advertisements in India.
    “Partnering with TIL, the most innovative mobile and entertainment company in India, furthers Hovr’s goal of leveraging our white-label ad-supported mobile gaming solution to drive the mass market adoption of mobile gaming in one of the largest and fastest growing mobile markets in the world,” said Hovr VP of business development Deepak Gupta.