HYDERABAD: It couldn’t get any better for bus commuters in the city.
370 JNNURM Express buses, operated by the city operations wing of the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), have been fitted with LCD television sets.
The initiative is seen as having immense potential to combine the opportunity of bringing in revenue through ads, with the experience of making city travel more passenger-friendly and less drab.
But the buck stops there.
Even as passengers lap up the movies on offer, the lack of adequate takers for ad slots has resulted in minimal revenue generation through ads, as expected.
So much so that passengers are presently promised a seamless viewing experience, save a one-minute break every halfan- hour.
“We are looking to get more ads. Playing the ads in between the movie is the best way to get consumer attention. Once we can fill in more slots, naturally there will be four-five minutes of ads for every 20 minutes of a movie. But presently, the number of takers for ads is less,” admitted G Satyanarayana, regional manager of APSRTC (Secunderabad city operations).
Currently, close to 200 buses in the Secunderabad region have been fitted with television sets, and according to Satyanarayana, both audio and video features have been enabled for maximum ad value.
“The driver will not be disturbed since the sets have been placed behind him.
Also no ads will be screened between 12 and 4 in the night”, he added.
Despite the 20-hour ad slot up for grabs, advertisers are yet to bite the bait.
Sivaram, an advertising agent with one of the top ad firms in the city, said, “We haven’t really put much thought into whether it will translate into customer attention. We might give ads to the buses, but only after more buses are fitted with the facility and we are guaranteed that all the sets are in working condition.”
The problem of malfunctioning sets does exists, admitted Satyanarayana as well, as he countered that problems with electrical systems in some buses had led to the temporary out of order situation, which would soon be looked into.
But even as advertisers run away from the officials, passengers, as well as bus conductors are a happy lot.
“Isn’t it great fun to just sit behind, relax and watch a movie while the open air of the city passes by? I too enjoy the movies after I give everyone their tickets,”said Balram, a conductor on an Uppal bound bus.