Times Internet to Launch advertising supported mobile games

Times Internet Limited (TIL), part of The Times Group, India’s largest cross-platform media and entertainment company, announced a partnership with Hovr, the world’s leading ad-supported mobile content and social gaming service, 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 Dinesh Wadhawan, CEO and managing director of TIL. “TIL was looking for a partner with a powerful and compelling offering to revolutionize the mobile gaming industry in India, and we found that partner in Hovr. 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 Deepak Gupta, VP of Business Development at Hovr.

GameZone is utilizing Powered by Hovr, Hovr’s white label mobile gaming offering that allows online and mobile portals, communities and distributors as well as mobile operators to offer their consumers direct access to hundreds of free, highly entertaining mobile games, all under their own brand. Beyond free ad-supported mobile games, the Powered by Hovr white label service offers online and mobile social community features brands can leverage to maintain, extend and strengthen their brand in a powerful and engaging manner.

Times Internet Limited (TIL) is the digital arm of India’s largest and most innovative cross-platform media and entertainment conglomerates, The Times Group. One of the most respected business houses in India, the 168-year-old group is a market driver across all media platforms. The Times Group has market dominance in all major media sectors including newspaper, Internet, mobile, magazine, television, movie, radio, events, exhibitions and concerts, building deep relationships with hundreds of millions of users around the world. Times Internet Limited is the most popular Internet and mobile value-add services company in India. GameZone is the newest TIL media property and will be a featured part of IndiaTimes and The Times of India mobile and web portals.

Hovr is a mobile media company that marries the needs of advertisers seeking to reach the important and growing mobile demographic with the desires of mobile users wanting entertaining content and applications on their mobile phones. Hovr provides users with free ad-supported mobile content such as high-quality, fun-to-play mobile games. The Hovr MobileSpace social network lets users connect, compete and interact with their friends and other players in a compelling community environment.

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