Kids on TV: Criticism That GECs Can Live With

This blog is being updated with old posts that first appeared in my weekly column on MXMIndia. If you have subscribed to email alerts, sorry for the spam. You may get alerts on multiple posts during this week. Look forward to seeing you on the blog, which will be maintained more actively in 2018.

Three weeks ago, Sony launched a fiction show called Pehredaar Piya Ki. The show’s promos received flak, especially in the social media, because of the show’s central theme: A grown-up girl marries a 10-something boy. This “romance” was termed regressive and even pervert. Continue reading

Posted in Hindi GECs, Kids | Leave a comment

Women’s Cricket in India: Finally In The Reckoning

This blog is being updated with old posts that first appeared in my weekly column on MXMIndia. If you have subscribed to email alerts, sorry for the spam. You may get alerts on multiple posts during this week. Look forward to seeing you on the blog, which will be maintained more actively in 2018.

Women’s Cricket has existed on the fringes in India, never really competing for major attention of sports enthusiasts. While comparisons to men’s cricket will be foolhardy, women’s cricket should have held some interest when compared to secondary sports in India such as hockey, badminton, tennis and the likes. But even that didn’t happen. Until this week. Continue reading

Posted in Cricket, Television | Leave a comment

A Polarised Media And Its Off-Shoots

This blog is being updated with old posts that first appeared in my weekly column on MXMIndia. If you have subscribed to email alerts, sorry for the spam. You may get alerts on multiple posts during this week. Look forward to seeing you on the blog, which will be maintained more actively in 2018.

Right-wing vs. Left-liberal. It’s polarisation of the extent we have never seen in our country before. What started as a “bias” of certain sections of the media has now polarised the media, including the social media, entirely.

There’s no in-between here. As a journalist, expert or even a regular casual Facebook or Twitter user, you have to take one of the two positions. Most Indians don’t even know the meaning of the phrases like Right-wing and Left-wing. But semantic knowledge is purely incidental here. The opinions are not. And the opinions are polarised. And increasingly so over the last few months. Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Panic Time For Hindi GECs?

Over the five years of existence of this column, one of the most-extensively covered topics here has been the status quo in the Hindi GEC category. Every few months, I have touched upon the concern that the category has got too inert for its own good, not recognizing the viewer dissatisfaction that’s been on a steady rise over these years.

Over the last few weeks, the numbers are beginning to tell a story that’s harsher than ever before. In the equivalent eight-week period (May-June), 2017 saw a 11% drop in Hindi GEC ratings in Urban (HSM) India, compared to 2016. The drop is even higher at 16% at an Urban + Rural level. Since BARC’s last major market expansion in end 2015, the category has lost more than 20% viewership. Continue reading

Posted in Hindi GECs, Television | Leave a comment

A Derailed Media: The Wheels Have Come Off

This blog is being updated with old posts that first appeared in my weekly column on MXMIndia. If you have subscribed to email alerts, sorry for the spam. You may get alerts on multiple posts during this week. Look forward to seeing you on the blog, which will be maintained more actively in 2018.

If you have been a follower of news media in India over the years, there’s high chance that you would see the freedom of the press as a fairly natural outcome of our democratic machinery. In a country where taking offence has turned into a national pastime, the media has still been an independent institution, except in extreme times like the Emergency.

Sections of the media have been guilty of catering to political interests of certain parties or politicians. But the larger media landscape has been one of an independent, though often opinionated, press. There have been propaganda papers and party mouthpieces, but those have been exceptions in a largely flourishing media environment over the years. Till recently. Continue reading

Posted in News | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Films | 12 Comments

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

Continue reading

Posted in Hindi GECs | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Films | 13 Comments

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

Posted in Films, Television | 2 Comments