Google, Microsoft and Reliance may participate in designing Railways Ad Tech

MUMBAI: Leading global companies such as Google, Microsoft and Reliance may be keen to take part in the Indian Railways project and help design platform screens advertising technology. Railways is putting together a strategy to launch two lakh screens across India, aiming at a revenue Rs 10,000 crore in 10 years, the Times of India reported, for which a tender could be awarded by May this year.

The content on demand on trains and at stations is a sizeable market. According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the infotainment market to be around Rs 2,277 crore in three years’ time.

The Railway Ministry, in a bid to revamp railways, may invite bids for Content on Demand (CoD) and railradio services in April. Services that would be included under the CoD initiative are — movies, TVserials, short videos, kids’ shows and devotional content. The CoD would also include streaming audio such as regional songs, movie songs, and devotional music; and providing electronic newspapers, gaming and educational content. Railways’ bids for app-based cab services will also be invited by May.

The video, radio, digital music and digital gaming contracts will be for a period of 10 years. The railways is, through these initiatives, expecting revenue of Rs 16,000-20,000 crore in 10 years.

As per the BCG report, to provide offline content, railways may have to shell out Rs 38,000 per coach. But, the online content will be expensive — for Rs 25 lakh each. Coaches are required to be well equipped to offer content streamed via the internet.

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