Top 50 Bollywood Songs of 2015

Top 50 Bollywood songs of 2015, based on data compiled from Ormax Media’s weekly music popularity charts Ormax Heartbeats. Songs from only the films that released in 2015 have been considered. Continue reading

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Hindi Fiction: Getting Younger, But Not Young Enough

What are the odds that a new fiction show, launched by one of the leading Hindi GECs, will enter the list of Top 5 programmes within its first 6-12 months? If you look at the chart below, you wouldn’t want to place a bet on that.

This simple analysis of the Top 5 Hindi GEC fiction shows of the year, over the last six years, has a lot to reveal. The average age of the Top 5 shows (defined as the number of months the show was on-air, counted at the middle of each year, i.e., end June) is currently at 30 months. Yes, that’s two-and-a-half years!

MXM - TV Trail - July 24, 2015

As you can see, 2013 was a watershed year, when the average age increased by a full year, from 26 months to 38 months, which could be interpreted as largely the same shows being the Top 5 in both these years (three of the five were indeed the same).

The years 2010 and 2011 were very different in nature. These came in the aftermath of the shake up that Colors brought with it, reaching No. 1 in 2009, before Star Plus made an astounding comeback with ‘Rishta Wohi Soch Nayi’ in 2010. The two channels dominated the ratings landscape, and most shows that topped the charts in 2010-11 were 2009-11 launches.   What number should a broadcaster be happy with? Is an average age of 17-22 months preferred over an average age of 35-38 months?

It can be argued that a broadcaster who’s doing well and has a loyal viewer base (e.g. Star Plus) would benefit from a higher-average-age trend. It would indicate consumer inertia to shift from their favorites, and that should suit the leading channel well.   Also, a lower average age would mean that shelf life of programmes is reducing, which, in turn, would imply that channels would have to launch more programmes every years, which in turn means costs of content development, marketing and research will go up.

But most channels are not leaders with a big loyal base, and average shelf life of new shows is determined largely by flop shows than by hit shows, and has remained largely constant at about 12 months over the last few years (which means that for every show that goes on for five years, there are at least half a dozen others that end within a year).   Any growing industry would aspire to bring the average age down. 30-38 months is simply too old for comfort. 12-18 months should be a good number, reflective of an audience taste that balances loyalty and novelty.

The implications of the average age having gone up can be significant, especially for broadcasters challenging the big three at the top. Converting a viewer who’s 2.5 years into a show is a tough ask. A 30+ months stat reveals an audience mindset that’s largely rejecting new content. As has been mentioned in this column before, it’s a reflection of their cynicism that new content largely flatters to deceive.

Colors has managed to do well in recent times, with shows like Ashoka and Meri Aashiqui Tumse Hi bucking the trend of old horses driving success. That’s one of the reasons we have seen an improvement from 38 months to 30 months over the last two years.   But we need a lot more. The category may have got eight months younger, but it is simply not young enough. The answer lies in content innovation. But that’s another topic, for another day.

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Top 50 Bollywood Songs of 2014

This blog has been sidelined over the last year, with my weekly commitment to MXM India taking priority over this space. But the Top 50 songs year-end reports from 2011-13 keeping getting new visitors to this blog, in more measure than ever before!

So here’s the 2014 version to continue the tradition. Given below is the ranking of the Top 50 songs of 2014, based on data compiled from Ormax Media’s weekly music popularity charts Ormax Heartbeats. Note that songs only from films that released in 2014 have been considered. Continue reading

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Ormax Xpressive: Kick Theatrical Trailer

It has been our endeavour to marry technology and consumer insights for the media & entertainment industry in India, and our recent product launch, Ormax Xpressive, powered by RealEyes, is a significant step in this direction.

Unlike conventional content research that relies on asking consumers a set of questions (using questionnaires or focus groups), Ormax Xpressive uses automated facial coding technology provided by the Europe-based firm RealEyes, to convert the consumer’s actual behaviour while watching the content, as captured through their facial expressions, into emotions. So, now we can actually know which specific shots in an ad or an episode or a scene triggered which emotions.

To demonstrate the product to the media & entertainment industry, we conducted a live test with senior industry professionals at our sixth anniversary party on June 25, 2014. The theatrical trailer of Salman Khan-starrer Kick was used as the test content. Here’s a snapshot of the results: Continue reading

Posted in Films, Product Showcase, Research, Television | Tagged , | 3 Comments

In A Politely Incorrect Industry, Can You Call A Spade A Spade?

Those who attend movie trial shows would relate to the predicament I’m about to share. Have you seen a movie at a trial, sat tortuously through it wondering what they were thinking when they were making it, and then faced with with the question you would pay anything to avoid: “How did you like it?”

Seasoned industry folk have mastered the art of responding to such questions. They would tend to say all the good things first, and then point out the big issue as an appendage: “But I just felt that if you spend some time explaining the story, the film would work better.”

This infectious living-in-a-bubble-at-launch-time disease has fast passed onto the television industry as well. Whenever a new show goes on air, I try and sample it for a couple of episodes, purely out of a disciplined habit inculcated over more than a decade. 70-80 percent such experiences are excruciatingly boring. Mediocre writing and direction is rampant, and there’s only that odd show that stands out as being smartly made.   Whenever I liked something new, I used to make it a point to call or message my friends at the relevant channel about how it made me feel. Silence meant ‘not liked’, not ‘haven’t watched yet’. Continue reading

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Top 50 Hindi Film Songs of 2013

The Top 50 Songs post from 2011 & 2012 have remained by far the most searched and most read report on this blog over the last two years. So here’s the 2013 version to continue the tradition.

Given below is the ranking of the Top 50 songs of 2013, based on data compiled from Ormax Media’s weekly music popularity charts Heartbeats. Note that songs only from the films that released in 2013 have been considered. Continue reading

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Star Popularity vs. Box Office: Not The Same Thing!

Last week, @OrmaxMedia tweeted annual results of its star popularity tracking research called Ormax Stars India Loves (OSIL). As per the results, Akshay Kumar ranked as the third most popular male star in India, in 2013, behind Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan. Katrina Kaif led the female stars list, well ahead of Deepika Padukone.

Every time OSIL results are tweeted, we get some standard questions in response. These examples capture their essence:

1. How can Katrina be no. 1 when Deepika has given four big hits this year?
2. Akshay Kumar at no. 3? All his films this year have flopped except Special 26.
3. Rani in the top 10! Are you kidding me? When did she last do a film?
4. Salman at no. 1 without any release in 2013? But Chennai Express and Dhoom 3 are the biggest grossers. Your survey is wrong.

Most of these questions (largely from fans and fan clubs) have a common and rather simplistic answer. Continue reading

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